WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. (AP) — Former Purdue University President Dr. Steven C. Beering, who expanded and diversified the West Lafayette campus during his 18-year tenure, has died, the university announced. He was 87.
Purdue did not disclose the circumstances of Beering's death, but current President Mitch Daniels confirmed to WLFI-TV that it was not from COVID-19.
Beering went to Purdue in 1983 after serving as dean of the Indiana University School of Medicine and director of the IU Medical Center in Indianapolis.
Before that, he served 12 years in the Air Force, during which time he became an adviser to the U.S. surgeon general in internal medicine and a medical consultant to NASA, where he was a physician to the nation’s first astronauts and to President Dwight Eisenhower, Purdue said.
“His 18-year leadership of our institution was but one chapter in an epic life of serial achievement," Daniels said.
Under Beering, Purdue expanded its international efforts, grew its liberal arts programs, promoted diversity and added 20 major buildings. Enrollment of international students grew threefold to become the largest at any public university.
Beering was born Aug. 20, 1932, in Berlin and spent most of his early years in Hamburg, where his father managed two retail furniture stores before World War II. After the war, the family moved to London and then to the U.S. in 1948, settling near Pittsburgh.
Jane Beering, his wife of 58 years, died March 9, 2015. Beering is survived by his sons Peter, David, and John and five grandchildren
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic there will not be immediate services. A celebration of life is planned for the future when conditions allow.