WEST LAFAYETTE – With the support of the Keyes family, Purdue Athletics and the John Purdue Club are championing two fundraising priorities that will commemorate the life and legacy of Leroy Keyes.
“Leroy is an icon in our community for not only his accomplishments as an athlete, but as a mentor and role model,” says Mike Bobinski, vice president and director of intercollegiate athletics. “These two initiatives will honor Leroy’s legacy and continue his mission to make Purdue Athletics a more diverse and welcoming community for students from all walks of life.”
The first initiative is the creation of the Leroy Keyes Inside Athletics Graduate Leadership Fellowship. This fellowship represents a unique opportunity for a future leader to launch their career in intercollegiate athletics and further their education at a world-class university.
According to 2019 NCAA figures, underrepresented minorities make up 12% of athletic directors while representing 35 percent of all Division I athletes not enrolled at historically Black colleges and universities. The Leadership Fellowship Program is a 12-month development program focused on building the foundation for strategic thinking and transformational leadership in athletics, structured around rotations designed to advance skills and prepare fellows for attaining a permanent role within athletics.
While pursuing a Graduate Certificate in Inclusive Excellence or Strategic Communication, the individual who is selected for the fellowship will have the chance to spend time in various units within the department of athletics and related units on campus.
The second initiative proposes that the current Purdue Athletics Intercollegiate Hall of Fame forever bear Leroy’s name as a testament to his work both on and off the football field; many credit him with a major role in bringing to Purdue what is today the Black Cultural Center.
The total financial need is estimated at $2 million. Donors and fans interested in honoring Leroy may make a gift online in lieu of flowers. Checks should be made out to Purdue Foundation, Leroy Keyes in the memo line, and mailed to the John Purdue Club, 900 John R. Wooden Drive, West Lafayette, IN 47907, or you can call the JPC to make your gift at 765.494.2582. The Leroy Keyes Hall of Fame and Fellowship Program will also be a giving option on Purdue Day of Giving on April 28.
A public viewing for Leroy Keyes will be held in the Molllenkopf Indoor Facility on Saturday, April 24, from 9 a.m. to noon ET. Parking is available in the R Lot (north of Ross-Ade). Masks are required for all attendees and social distancing must be observed. A private ceremony will be livestreamed here beginning at 12:45 p.m.
Purdue icon, College Football Hall of Fame member and two-time consensus All-American Marvin “Leroy” Keyes passed away on April 15. He was 74. A megastar for the Boilermakers from 1966 to 1968, Keyes remains the only two-time consensus All-American in school history. He finished third and second in balloting for the Heisman Trophy as a halfback his junior and senior seasons. Read more.