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Tuesday, October 27, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Purdue University names flagship polytechnic high school in honor of Schweitzers

Edmund Schweitzer, founder of Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, is photographed with the SEL-21 distance fault locator he invented in 1984. Purdue University has named its flagship polytechnic school to honor Schweitzer and his wife, Beatriz.  (COLIN MULVANY/The Spokesman-Review)
Edmund Schweitzer, founder of Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, is photographed with the SEL-21 distance fault locator he invented in 1984. Purdue University has named its flagship polytechnic school to honor Schweitzer and his wife, Beatriz. (COLIN MULVANY/The Spokesman-Review)

Purdue University’s flagship polytechnic high school in Indianapolis will be named in honor of Pullman couple Edmund and Beatriz Schweitzer following their $4 million gift to support educational programs and scholarships for underrepresented students.

Purdue University President Mitch Daniels announced last week the school is now known as the Schweitzer Center at Purdue Polytechnic High School Englewood.

Purdue operates three polytechnic high schools in central and northern Indiana.

Edmund Schweitzer III is the founder, president and chief technology officer of Pullman-based Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, which designs and builds products and systems to protect power grids.

Schweitzer earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Purdue University’s School of Electrical and Computer Engineering in 1968 and 1971, respectively.

In a statement, the Schweitzers said their gift to Purdue Polytechnic High Schools network aligns with their desire to make a difference in difficult times for underrepresented minorities in STEM education and professions.

“Supporting education is important to Bea and me, and we’re pleased this gift to Purdue will provide current and future students with the educational and life skills needed for future success in a 21st-century economy,” Schweitzer said.

The couple’s $4 million gift will provide need-based scholarship support for students in the Purdue’s College of Engineering, College of Science and the Purdue Polytechnic Institute. It will also provide funding for part-time student mentors and full-time advising staff – including a Schweitzer learning coach focused on engineering – in addition to building renovations.

Previously, the Schweitzers have contributed $1.5 million toward an electrical and computer engineering fellowship at Purdue University, in addition to another $1.5 million to support the school’s power and energy systems research area, known as Power and Energy Systems.

SEL opened its electric power research and development facility in Purdue’s Discovery Park District this year.

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