Photo of Dave Muenz, past Executive-in-Residence with staff and students

Prior Executives in Residence

In 2014, an idea was born to connect alumni and University Residences students in a new way. Boilermakers love to help other boilermakers and the Executive in Residence (EiR) program provides a way to harness that self-less spirit into a unique mentorship program. Prominent executives and Purdue alumni return to live on campus for a week. Purdue students just like you get opportunities to interact with the execs in various mentorship settings – from lecture halls to residence halls, to dining courts and racquetball courts.


Imagine hearing from someone who sat in the same classrooms, took the same classes and had the same struggles that you are facing right now. Now, imagine someone who has been in your shoes assuring you that overcoming the challenges you currently face will set you up for success in the future.

For alumni, the program is a way to give back to their alma mater and forge meaningful professional connections with students like you.

"Why did I decide to serve as Executive in Residence? The word ‘serve’ stood out to me. I think it’s about that in a lot of ways. First and foremost, I’m giving back to Purdue, and I’m so grateful for what Purdue has given to me. They gave me the foundation for who I am.

  • Bridget Epp, vice president of sales, fine wine and education for Wente Vineyards.

These business leaders cooperatively plan their visits with the Executive in Residence committee, organizing interactions with academic departments, Residential Life groups, and campus administrators based on each executive’s background and connections. Epp delivered presentations on sustainability, women’s leadership, and wine and food pairing during her week on campus and attended events with several student groups, including the Windsor Halls resident assistants, the same job Epp credits as her first ever leadership position during her undergraduate tenure. The Executive in Residence program gives students from diverse backgrounds the chance to learn from successful professionals in a more personal way not afforded by a classroom.

Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • Articulate at least one type of leadership style demonstrated by the executive
  • Communicate whether the executive's leadership style is consistent with their own personal style of leadership
  • Describe the path the executive took from Purdue to his/her successful career
  • Identify one personal Purdue experience that will help their own path to success

Executive in Residence (EiR) Program Celebrates 5 Years!

Rusty Rueff was our first executive to come back to campus and share his story as part of this inaugural program. Five years later, we celebrated the success of this growing program with a reunion during homecoming weekend of the 150 Years of Giant Leaps celebration. More than 25 executives have participated in this program and the interest continues to grow. COVID-19 forced a brief pause in the program but we can’t wait for its return in 2021.


Our executive alumni include top executives from corporations such as Accenture, Hatteras Yachts, Holland Cruise Lines, Huntington Bank, Wente Vineyards, Banana Republic, Busch Gardens, NASA, McDonalds’ and Sea World and many more. The Executive in Residence (EiR) program gives our visiting execs a chance to not only live and eat with University Residences students, but also participate in specially crafted experiences and programs allowing our students to interact one on one with them. The students may work with the Exec to develop their resumes, gain mentorship, or in the very least, create a connection with someone who started off where they are right now.

The five-year reunion was held in conjunction with the culmination of the Purdue’s year-long 150th sesquicentennial celebration in October 2019. Along with a formal dinner, a mega “Coffee and Consulting” event with students and football tailgate, executives answered questions during a panel presentation. Below is video of that discussion, where returning execs as a team imparted their wisdom to all of us.