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HAMMOND, Ind.–A retired Purdue University Northwest (PNW) professor who died earlier this year has left the University more than $700,000.

The money left by Maria O. Longas, PWN professor emerita of chemistry, will go towards student scholarships.

In 2017, while still a full-time professor at PNW, Longas committed to supporting the university through her estate plans. At the time, she requested that her planned gift remain anonymous until after her death.

“Dr. Longas wanted to leave a legacy for Purdue Northwest students,” said Jamie Manahan, executive director for development and major gifts officer for PNW. “She cared deeply about our students and wanted to give them more opportunities to succeed. The endowed scholarship created in her name will fund scholarships to help those with financial need.”

Throughout her career, Longas was an advocate of women in the sciences and gender diversity on college campuses. The Dr. Maria O. Longas Scholarship will provide financial support to full-time PNW students based on academic strengths and financial needs with a preference given to women.

Longas was named “Outstanding College Teacher at Purdue University Calumet” in 1990 and “Outstanding Teacher Biology Club” in 1991. She was a member of Iota Sigma Pi, National Honor Society for Women in Chemistry. She was also awarded a one-year sabbatical in 2003 during which she worked as a research scholar at the University of Notre Dame, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in South Bend.

She retired in August 2019. Longas died in January 2021.