The sign in the Purdue University display. It reads
"Hail to Old Purdue"
Gus's decision to enter Purdue University as an engineer was based upon his
desire to have a career in aviation.
Grissom entered Purdue in 1946. At that time, enrollment was skyrocketing.
World War II veterans, taking advantage of the GI bill's free tuition, studied
along with recently graduated high school students. Housing was tight and
temporary classroom structures were built to accommodate the large numbers of
Betty and Gus both worked jobs to extend their meager budget. Gus worked as a
short-order cook, detasseled corn and worked the night shift at the Monon
roundhouse. Betty worked as a telephone operator.
"My greatest asset was that I had a working wife."
- Gus Grissom, referring to his
time at Purdue.
Due to his hard work and dedication, Gus graduated with a degree in mechanical
engineering in 1950, one semester early. Before leaving Purdue, Grissom had
reenlisted with the Air Force.
"He knew what he wanted to do and what he had to do to get
- Betty Grissom
"He wasn't satisfied with civilian life and never would be. He loved
flying and that was going to be his life."
- Cecile Grissom