Drew Brees is again giving back to his alma mater in a big way.
Purdue announced Friday that the Super Bowl-winning quarterback and his wife, Brittany, also a Purdue alum, have donated $1 million to help enhance the Boilermakers football program.
"We care so much about Purdue University," Brees said in the announcement. "Purdue has meant so much to me, and it has provided so many things. From the education I received and playing for coach Joe Tiller, to winning a Big Ten championship and going to the Rose Bowl, to the relationships I was able to form with many of my teammates and meeting my beautiful wife ... we are so blessed and so thankful. We just want to show how much we believe in our university, in our football program, in our leadership and in the direction we are heading."
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Brees played at Purdue for four seasons from 1997 to 2000, racking up 11,792 passing yards and 90 touchdowns, both of which still stand as career records in the Big Ten. He was twice named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year and won the Maxwell Award during his senior season, also finishing third in voting for the Heisman Trophy and leading the Boilermakers to the 2001 Rose Bowl, one of just two Rose Bowl appearances in program history.
He has had an exceptional career as one of the NFL's finest quarterbacks, playing with both the San Diego Chargers and New Orleans Saints, with whom he won a championship in Super Bowl XLIV.
"I am so proud to be a Boilermaker," Drew Brees said. "Every chance I get, I try to tell somebody about Purdue and my experience, whether it's athletic, academic or just being a student. It was such a tremendous part of my life. I always want to share that experience with others and hope they will have that same sense of love and pride for the university that I do."
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Brees' donation is not his first to Purdue. In 2007, Drew and Brittany Brees donated $2 million to enhance the now-named Drew and Brittany Brees Student-Athlete Academic Center.
This latest donation, the school announced, is part of Purdue's master plan for the football program, which entails boosting Purdue's roster development, recruiting, fan engagement, university support and facilities in hopes of building a championship-caliber program.
"Drew certainly meant a lot to us during his four years on campus, and he has continued to mean a lot since he left," Purdue athletics director Morgan Burke said in the announcement. "This gift by Drew and Brittany not only demonstrates the generosity that has become a staple in their lives, but also affirms that someone who has 'been there, done that' both at Purdue and in the National Football League believes in what we are doing and wants to be part of it. On behalf of everyone involved with Purdue athletics, I say thank you for everything they have done and continue to do to support our mission."