Indiana school shares history with Boilermakers union
The Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind., is home to the “fighting Boilermakers.” The first use of the term “Boilermaker” in connection with the Purdue football team was made in a newspaper report in 1891, and has stayed with the university to this date. It is a symbol of a tireless work ethic — a roll-up-your-sleeves, get-the-job-done attitude that remains true today.
In October 2006, Boilermaker Local Lodge 374, of Hammond, Ind., presented retiring university president, Dr. Martin C. Jischke, with an honorary membership in the Boilermakers union.
During a brunch held before the Purdue-Wisconsin football game in Lafayette, Local 374 BM-ST Paul Maday made the presentation following a request by Robert Bowen, founder, chairman, and CEO of Bowen Engineering, who wanted to do something special for the outgoing president.
“To my knowledge, nothing like this has ever been done before between the university and our local union,” Maday reported. “I was very excited to help create a bridge between our two great organizations.”
When Maday learned that Bowen was also a 1962 Purdue graduate, he decided to surprise Bowen at the brunch with his own honorary Boilermaker membership.
“Bob had no idea that he also was receiving this honor,” Maday said. “His enthusiasm and genuine appreciation of being a part of something he always wanted to be affiliated with became a reality. It was a great moment for all of us.”
Both Jischke and Bowen received a plaque from Local 374, along with a Local 374 sweatshirt. Bowen Engineering recently signed the Boilermakers’ Great Lakes Articles of Agreement with Local 374 and is looking forward to bidding and performing Boilermaker work.