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Purdue University
West Lafayette, Indiana
National championships none
NAQT Page link
Not to be confused with Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis.

Purdue University is a public university in West Lafayette, Indiana. Its quiz bowl team plays in the Midwest circuit. Purdue also annually hosts multiple high school tournaments, including the IASP Indiana State Quiz Bowl Championship.


While Purdue has had at least two previous iterations of a quiz bowl team, the current club was founded by former Saint Joseph captain Steve Benchik in 2016, with assistance from faculty member Stan Jastrzebski.

In its second full year of existence, the team came unexpectedly close to qualifying for the 2018 edition of Division II ICT. Two central players from that team went on to play at the next year's NAQT Collegiate Novice tournament at Chicago and went undefeated. Purdue were subsequently cited in discussions about tightening player restrictions for novice tournaments. That spring, Purdue qualified for Division II ICT for the first time and finished 10th.

In the spring of 2019, Purdue took over the duty of hosting Indiana's high school state championship tournament, which had previously been hosted by Ancilla Domini College with funding from the Rotary Club of Indianapolis. Along with Saint Joseph's long-time coach Ben Dillon, Jastrzebski helped convince the Indiana Association of School Principals to sponsor state-wide quiz bowl competitions. Purdue has been the host of IASP's Academic Quiz Bowl State Finals tournament since 2020.

In 2021, after three of their members had served in writing and editing roles for Spring Novice, Purdue Quiz Bowl produced the Boilermaker Spring Novice housewrite with Sarah Benner as head editor, with help from Ryan Rosenberg and the teams from North Carolina and Duke.

In 2022, Purdue again qualified for Division II ICT, and also sent a team to ACF Nationals for the first time in their history. They finished T-19th at DII ICT and 43rd at ACF Nationals.

In 2023, Purdue attended Division I ICT for the first time in the school's history. Purdue A placed 24th in Division I ICT, while Purdue B placed 25th in Division II ICT. A team from Purdue also tied for 40th at ACF Nationals.

2024 marked Purdue's ACF Nationals breakthrough, with the team shockingly making the top bracket and tying for 11th. In addition, Purdue also qualified two teams for Division II ICT, placing 13th and 26th.

Notable Players and Alumni

Sarah Benner

Ben Dillon, coach of Saint Joseph during their 9-year state championship run

Lalit Maharjan, writer for International Quiz Bowl Tournaments and Play Quiz Bowl

Stan Melkumian, leading figure in the open-level grind movement

Reilly Melville

Alex Pijanowski, two-time NAC MVP and NAC hall-of-famer for Harrison High School