Positive about Purdue group marks 30 years

John Sautter, Gerald Krockover, Nancy Cross and Don Gentry dine at the Stacked Pickle to celebrate Positive about Purdue's 30th anniversary. (Purdue University photo/Tim Dot

A group that meets regularly to share its members’ love for Purdue and discuss the great things that are happening on campus is celebrating its 30th year in existence.

The Positive about Purdue group was started in December 1987 by John Sautter, who now works part time for the Purdue Alumni Association. That year, six University employees, including Sautter, endeavored to create small groups that would meet regularly and be positive about Purdue. Thirty years later, all of the other groups have disbanded — except for Sautter’s. The group’s enjoyment of each other’s company and strong commitment to Purdue have allowed it to stand the test of time.

“During the time that we’ve been here, our club has watched Purdue hire five different University presidents, three athletic directors, two men’s basketball coaches and eight football coaches,” Sautter says. “Through it all, we have stayed loyal to each other and to the University.”

The group consists of five members: Sautter, who formerly served as vice president for housing and food services before retiring; Nancy Cross, senior associate athletics director; Don Gentry, who is currently active in the Purdue University Retirees Association and served as dean of the College of Technology and vice provost for engagement before retiring; Nikki Horner, who was associate director of the alumni association before retiring; and Gerald Krockover, professor emeritus of earth, atmospheric and planetary sciences. Robert Britt, who served as director of the Purdue Student Health Center before retiring, was a sixth group member who died about eight years ago.

Group members eat lunch at a different location every time they meet. These different locations have included the 50-yard line of Ross-Ade Stadium and the Loeb Playhouse stage in Stewart Center. The group has also dined in places such as the flight simulator in the Purdue Airport, Mackey Arena and more.

Bob Britt, Gerald Krockover, John Sautter, Nancy Cross, Nikki Horner, Don Gentry
Bob Britt, Gerald Krockover (in hat), John Sautter, Nancy Cross, Don Gentry and Nikki Horner have lunch on the 50-yard line of Ross-Ade Stadium. (Photo provided)Download image

“It’s almost a competition because we try to find a different venue for every meeting,” Cross says. “We always look forward to that next meeting because, if it’s your turn to pick the location, you have a chance to take everyone somewhere special.”

This semester, the Positive about Purdue group marked its 30th year in existence with a lunch at the Stacked Pickle on Northwestern. The restaurant, Stacked Pickle, was built only a couple of years ago. Group members found excitement in the idea they were meeting at a location that wasn’t even in existence when their group began.

“Purdue is and always has been a great place to work and a great place for students to go to school,” Gentry says. “That’s one thing that has not changed throughout the past 30 years.”

Writer: Olivia Crouse, ocrouse@purdue.edu

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Positive about Purdue group marks 30 years