Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

State News

March 1, 2014

Purdue, donors split over God reference for plaque

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — A couple who donated $12,500 to Purdue University might sue unless the school reverses course by allowing an inscription for their dedication plaque that includes a reference to God, their attorney said.

Purdue graduates Michael and Cynthia McCracken were asked what wording they wanted for a conference room plaque after they made the donation to the School of Mechanical Engineering in 2012, the couple's lawyer, Robert Kelner, told the Journal & Courier.

They proposed an inscription — dedicated to Michael McCracken's parents — that would say, "To those who seek to better the world through the understanding of God's physical laws and innovation of practical solutions. In honor of Dr. William 'Ed' and Glenda McCracken."

Purdue officials say the dedication was rejected because its use of the word "God" could be considered a government endorsement of religion since it is a public institution.

Kelner said the First Amendment allows the proposed wording as private speech and the McCrackens might sue if the dispute isn't resolved.

"Purdue asked Dr. McCracken to supply language of his choice in recognition of his and his wife's generous pledge to their alma mater," Kelner said. "He chose language that honors the values instilled by his parents — Ed, also a Purdue alumnus, and Glenda, who recently passed away."

The McCrackens are being supported in the dispute by the Liberty Institute, a Plano, Texas-based conservative advocacy group.

Steve Schultz, Purdue's legal counsel, said school officials understand the McCrackens' disappointment, but are worried about expensive litigation if their inscription was allowed.

"If we had confidence that the courts would find this private speech as the donor's counsel argues, then we would agree immediately — and strongly," Schultz said.

Kelner said university officials haven't responded to alternative wording that the McCrackens suggested since the proposed inscription was first turned down in October.

"We have offered to the university to make whatever changes they want us to make to make it blindingly clear to any reader that this is speech by the McCrackens and not the university," Kelner said.

------

Information from: Journal and Courier, http://www.jconline.com

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
State News
  • Decade of diversification sets art museum apart FORT WAYNE (AP) — Charles Shepard walks toward “Mr. and Mrs. Smith.”The wealthy Baltimore couple hang in two separate portraits in the Fort Wayne Museum of Art’s “Decade of Decisions: The Shaping of Collection” exhibit. The show focuses on items from

    August 17, 2014

  • IU offers warm welcome to international students BLOOMINGTON (AP) — The sun was shining. Live jazz music floated out from a red-and-white striped tent behind the DeVault Alumni Center. Students sat in groups and pairs, taking pictures and eating ice cream.The international student orientation ice c

    August 17, 2014

  • 8-year sentence in Gary killing CROWN POINT (AP) — A Gary man whose murder confession was thrown out because a police detective had told him he might not get a fair trial because he is black has been sentenced to eight years in prison after pleading guilty to reckless homicide.The

    August 17, 2014

  • Police say Chicago woman killed when semi hits car CROWN POINT, Ind. (AP) — Indiana State Police say a Chicago woman was killed and three others injured when a tractor-trailer slammed into a car stopped on the shoulder of northbound Interstate 65. Police say 53-year-old Jacqueline Brown was pronounc

    August 17, 2014

  • Witness: Bicyclist shot after verbal altercation EVANSVILLE, Ind. (AP) — Evansville police say a 24-year-old bicyclist died following a verbal altercation with a man in a car. Police say the shooting occurred about 3:25 a.m. Saturday. The Evansville Courier & Press reports officers responding repo

    August 17, 2014

  • Muncie packaging company to lay off 261 workers MUNCIE (AP) — A packaging company in Muncie has informed the state it plans to lay off 261 workers over the next few months. DIY Group President Phil Durham told The Star Press the company is laying off roughly half its workforce. DIY Group packages

    August 17, 2014

  • Indiana Women Slain [Duplicate] Man sentenced to death again NEW ALBANY (AP) — A southern Indiana man already sentenced to death for killing a family friend and mutilating her body was sentenced Friday to death in the slaying of a second woman whose body was found buried in his backyard.William Clyde Gibson II

    August 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Ex-postmaster gets 5 years plus EVANSVILLE (AP) — A former Indiana postmaster has been sentenced to more than five years in federal prison on charges of receiving and possessing child pornography.The Evansville Courier & Press reports that 60-year-old Floyd M. Thompson of Evansvill

    August 16, 2014

  • Businesses worry as reservoir continues to fall Businesses worry as reservoir fallsMONTICELLO (AP) — Water levels are dropping at a northwestern Indiana reservoir where lakeside residents and business owners who rely on tourism and recreation for their livelihoods are angry about water releases to

    August 16, 2014

  • Man sentenced to 8 years in Gary man's killing CROWN POINT (AP) — A Gary man whose murder confession was thrown out because a police detective had told him he might not get a fair trial because he is black has been sentenced to eight years in prison after pleading guilty to reckless homicide. The

    August 15, 2014

Latest news
Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
US Mission to Rescue Hostages in Syria Failed Manfred, Torre and MLB Take Ice Bucket Challenge Bank of America Reaches Record $17B Settlement Holder Reassures Ferguson Community With Visit GlobalPost CEO Remembers Foley As a Brave Man Seth Meyers Rolls Out Emmy Red Carpet Obama: World Is Appalled by Murder of Journalist Israel, Militants Trade Fire After Talks Fail Pres. George W. Bush Takes Ice Bucket Challenge Pierce Brosnan's Call to Join the Expendables Changes Coming to No-Fly List Raw: IDF Footage Said to Show Airstrikes Police: Ferguson More Peaceful Raw: Aftermath of Airstrike in Gaza Raw: Thousands March on Pakistani Parliament Raw: World's Oldest Man Lives in Japan Fire Crews Tame Yosemite Fire Raw: Police Weapon Drawn Near Protesters, Media Raw: Explosions in Gaza As Airstrikes Resume Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll
Kelly Lafferty's video on Tom Miller