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About BOP

Welcome to the Dr. Cornell A. Bell Business Opportunity Program (BOP). Established more than 50 years ago, we are a groundbreaking, nationally recognized program that recruits, enrolls, educates, and provides support for Daniels School undergraduate and graduate students pursuing careers in business. Read on to learn about our leadership team and legacy and to find out how you can get involved in BOP.


Mr. Darren L. Henry
Managing Director

Leadership Council

The BOP Leadership Council consists of notable BOP alumni who provide creative and thoughtful strategies to help the program achieve its goals and remain competitive and sustainable for another 50 years of success.

View Leadership Council Members


John S. Day
Dean John S. Day

Faculty members Dan E. Schendel, Wilbur G. Lewellen, Charles Lawrence, Joseph C. Ullman, and Dean John S. Day established the Business Opportunity Program (BOP) in April 1968 to broaden student access to a world-class management education. The program was one of the first and most successful of its kind at a major business school, and the first at Purdue.

In BOP’s second year, Dean Day hired Dr. Cornell A. Bell to run the program. Under Dr. Bell’s leadership, BOP has grown into a nationally recognized program that recruits, enrolls, educates, and provides support for both undergraduate and graduate students pursuing management careers. Since taking wing in 1968 with 11 undergraduate student participants, BOP has provided opportunities for more than 1,400 undergraduate and graduate students.

Dr. Bell stated, “When I think of Dean Day and the social environment in which he started the BOP program, I think it takes a lot of courage to be a leader.” About the faculty members whose idealism was the impetus for BOP, Dr. Bell had one word: “extraordinary.”

"We needed leadership from someone who understood what it took to be successful in college and recognized the barriers and challenges facing the young men and women we were trying so hard to bring here," said Professor Emeritus Dan Schendel. "That someone was Cornell Bell. He always felt there were no bounds to what students could accomplish through education."

Dr. Cornell Bell

Dr. Cornell A Bell
I don't want to be a king, I want to be a kingmaker.

Dr. Cornell A. Bell distinguished himself in education with his personal involvement and dedication in helping provide opportunities to hundreds of students through the Business Opportunity Program. He was the director of the program for 37 years until his retirement in 2006 and was known as a father figure, mentor and even miracle worker to countless Purdue students.

Even after his passing in 2009, his legacy extends through his alumni located around the world. Born in Evansville, Indiana, Dr. Bell attended Indiana University, earning his bachelor’s degree in 1947 and his master’s in 1952. He received his doctoral degree from Purdue in 1972. Prior to taking the position at then-Krannert School of Management in 1969, he worked as a chemist for Stauffer Chemical Co., taught science classes at Pulaski School in Gary, and served as guidance counselor, assistant principal and principal at Gary Froebel School and Gary Tolleston High School.

As director/chairman of the Business Opportunity Program, which was designed to create a more diverse student body, Dr. Bell helped recruit hundreds of graduate and undergraduate students to the West Lafayette campus. He was also active with the Graduate Management Admission Council nationally to increase diversity in schools of business throughout the country.

His efforts were widely recognized. He received the Special Boilermaker Award from the Purdue Alumni Association in 1987 for his contributions to the quality of student life at Purdue. He received the M. Beverley Stone Non-Academic Counseling Award in 1990, recognizing him as an individual who shows personal concern, gives unselfishly of time, and who shares love through outstanding service to Purdue students. He also received the Indiana Bell Award in 1991 and the Harold T. Amrine Visionary Award in 1994. Indiana Gov. Evan Bayh honored Dr. Bell with a Sagamore of the Wabash, the highest award given by the governor, in 1996. That year, in recognition of his extraordinary efforts, the Business Opportunity Program was renamed the Cornell A. Bell Business Opportunity Program.