Purdue University

This month, Febuary 2020, I returned to my alma mater, Purdue University, to speak on sports, diversity, the LGTBQ+ community, my journey, and my truth. The campus was almost unrecognizable, I hadn’t returned for nearly half a decade, and the building had changed, one-way roads became two-ways, and the football program had a new facility worth over fifty million. Nevertheless, a few things were unmistakably Purdue. It began snowing within an hour of being there, all my memories of Purdue were snowing or football related. Another thing about Purdue that will always ring true is its affinity for intelligent, wise, and inspirational people. From the staff that made my coming and speaking possible, to the students who listened, talked, questioned, and engaged with me. Purdue was the place where I started to find myself, my dreams, my passions, and my heart. To be able to talk about the growth that began at that very University was a moment I will cherish forever. Thank you for making all of this possible and making Purdue and example for the whole country.

Purdue alumnus Ryan Russell spoke about his experiences as the first openly bisexual active NFL player in Fowler Hall (STEW). He is the 2019 recipient of the Gay Times Honour for Sporting Hero and his television interview with ESPN has been nominated for the 31st GLAAD Media Awards’ Outstanding TV Journalism Segment category.