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John V. Osmun Alumni Professional Achievement Award in Entomology

Click here to see all the Osmun Award winners.

John V. Osmun served as Head of the Department of Entomology from 1956-1972.  Upon retirement from the Purdue Entomology faculty in 1987, an award fund - The John V. Osmun Alumni Professional Achievement Award in Entomology - was established in his honor.

In 1948 John Osmun came to Purdue University with a vision and two goals.  The first goal concerned the coming-of-age of the structural pest control industry.  He recognized the imperative that urban entomology be firmly established on strong scientific and educational foundations.  He was determined to be a catalyst toward that end.  Thus, during his early years at Purdue, John established the first four-year program devoted to urban and industrial entomology.  Today it is known as the finest anywhere.

The second goal was to help build the Department of Entomology so it would be rated among the best in the country.  As department head, Osmun guided the department for 16 years, during which time it grew in both size and reputation.  Laboratory and field research became interactive; classes were diversified and expanded; and program outreach included correspondence-course instruction.  Later, John served as the first director of the Operations Division of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, lending guidance and bringing a scientist’s balance during the agency’s early years when performance standards were being established.  The John V. Osmun Alumni Professional Achievement Award in Entomology is to recognize a hallmark of John Osmun’s long career, professionalism, and his great respect for Entomology Alumni.

Purpose of the Award

Friends, former students, and peers established the John V. Osmun Alumni Professional Achievement Award as an expression of gratitude for John’s many and enduring contributions.  The Award is given annually to a degree holding alumnus of the Purdue University Department of Entomology.  The Osmun Award’s purpose is to perpetuate the standards of excellence exemplified by Purdue’s Entomology Department. The award serves to recognize and promote both high achievement and professionalism in entomology and its related fields.  The Award carries with it a plaque for the recipient.  A permanent display bearing the award winners’ names is located in the Entomology Department Conference Room at Purdue’s West Lafayette campus.


Recipients must (1) be degree holding alumni of the Purdue University, Department of Entomology; (2) have demonstrated high standards of professionalism in their lives; (3) have established a career reputation of distinction, excelling either in the broad discipline of entomology or in some related field. Recipients may be professionals who have been employed in any aspects of academe, industry, government, or private or public enterprise; (4) be willing and available to accept the award by participating in appropriate on-campus activities to recognize their achievements.