Indiana Lt. Gov. Ellspermann to keynote Purdue summer commencement

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Sue Ellspermann 

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Indiana Lt. Gov. Sue Ellspermann will return to Purdue University on Aug. 9 to deliver the keynote address at her alma mater's summer commencement.

The College of Engineering alumna will speak during the 9:30 a.m. ceremony in Purdue’s Elliott Hall of Music. There are 1,381 candidates for graduation, which includes 852 graduate students, 519 undergraduates and 10 professional degree-seekers. Tanisha Mishra, a dual-degree candidate in the School of Management and College of Liberal Arts from Faridabad, India, is the student responder.

Ellspermann has been Gov. Mike Pence's lieutenant governor since 2012. In her position, she manages six state agencies: the Department of Agriculture; Housing and Community Development Authority; and the offices of Defense Development, Community and Rural Affairs, Tourism Development, and Small Business and Development. She also serves as president of the Indiana Senate, chair for the state Counter Terrorism and Security Council, vice chair for the Indiana Career Council, and was appointed by Pence as co-chair of his Blue Ribbon Panel on Transportation Infrastructure.

Ellspermann was raised in Ferdinand, Indiana, where her husband Jim Mehling currently is principal of Forest Park High School. She worked her way through Purdue as an engineering cooperative education student with General Motors. She earned her bachelor's degree in industrial engineering and began a career in engineering and management at Michelin and Frito-Lay.

She later founded Ellspermann & Associates Inc. consulting business in Evansville, providing problem solving and strategic planning facilitation and training. As she built her practice locally and throughout the nation with such clients as Kimball International, Pepsi and Microsoft, she completed her master's and doctoral degrees in industrial engineering from the University of Louisville in 1996. She went on to become founding director of the University of Southern Indiana's Center for Applied Research and Economic Development.

In 2010 Ellspermann was elected to the Indiana House of Representatives for the 74th District, which includes parts of Dubois, Perry, Spencer and Warrick counties. Pence then selected her as his running mate.

 "My Purdue engineering degree has opened many doors for me and, for that, I am thankful," Ellspermann said. "More importantly, Purdue serves our state by driving innovation and developing the talent which powers Indiana. Boiler up!"

All ceremonies will be aired live on Comcast Channel 5 and Boiler TV Channel 26.4. All speeches will be captioned for the hearing impaired. The ceremonies also will be shown live via webcast at

Commencement videos will be available for $30 per DVD. Order forms can be obtained at the Loeb Playhouse box office, online at, or by calling 765-494-3933. Forms may be submitted both before and after the ceremony within two weeks of the event. 

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