Frederick L. Hovde was born in Erie, Pennsylvania but grew up in Devils Lake, ND. He graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1929 with a Chemical Engineering degree. After attending Oxford University for three years he became the Assistant Director of the General College of the University of Minnesota. During WWII he served on the national Defense Research Committee and became the Executive Assistant to the chairman of the committee. Because of his war service he was awarded the President’s Medal for Merit and the King’s Medal for Service. Upon completion of his war duties in 1946, he became the president of Purdue University. Enrollment at Purdue grew by 20,000 students under his leadership and the budget increased significantly. Along with his duties as president he was a member and chairman of many military and educational boards. Hovde also received over 20 honorary doctoral degrees from universities across the United State throughout his lifetime. Hovde retired in 1971, making him the longest-serving President at Purdue. In 1975 the Purdue Executive Building was renamed Frederick L. Hovde Hall of Administration in honor of his years of service.