Allen Perry, December 9, 1978

Allen Perry always had a love of Science, according to his son, John Perry.

“Dad was always reverential about geology,” John said. “He said it made him realize that the structure and order of things was not an accident.”

Allen was the first in his family to go to college, and he started his journey at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN. When he ran out of money to pay his tuition, he traveled to Puerto Rico to work. He built infrastructure through Operation Bootstrap. He met his wife Nell in Puerto Rico, was drafted into the Army, and then returned to finish a bachelor's degree with the help of the G.I. Bill and Nell working full time. Allen eventually went on to get an M.S. and a Ph.D. in Engineering Geology from Purdue University, with some of his coursework completed at the Purdue School of Science at IUPUI.

“My dad’s story is probably the same as so many other kids,” John said. “There is a great power in education: to come from a pretty poor family, and have someone lifted up and get a Ph.D. I have an appreciation for the asset that public universities are, providing world-class education to those for whom it has typically been out of reach.”

He was very devoted to helping anyone who wanted to advance their career. He was always willing to talk to people about mentoring and advancing them in their degrees.”

John Perry