John has written 8 books about Purdue and its alumni:
Jerry Ross grew up part of a humble, proud and loving family in rural Indiana and became the most launched astronaut in history. As one of NASA’s senior most astronauts he played a key role in building the International Space Station and is the astronaut with the second most spacewalks. His career spanned the entire Space Shuttle program.
This memoir tells of his dream to become an astronaut, his humor, calm determination and faith. This book is available in hard back and paperback and also is available as an e-book with links to Purdue University’s NASA archives, which include papers, material and videos from Ross. Available from the Purdue Press and Amazon.
The books tells the history of flight from the Wright Brothers through today using the stories of Purdue graduates.
These include Cliff Turpin, who helped the Wright Brothers redesign their engine and controls in 1908-1909 and then become part of the Wright Exhibition Team demonstrating flight to the nation. It includes the stories of many Indiana natives such as Ralph Johnson, among the nation’s earliest aeronautical engineers and a pilot for United Airlines in the days when the job responsibilities including serving dinner to the passengers; Frederick Martin, who commanded the first flight around the world in 1924; Malcolm Ross who commanded balloon flights up to the stratosphere before the Mercury space program; and much more.
Also part of the book are the stories of 22 astronauts who have graduated from Purdue, including the first and last men on the moon, Neil Armstrong and Gene Cernan.
The book tells Indiana’s amazing role in the history of flight and describes the feeling of sitting on the wing of a Wright Flyer and launching in a space shuttle. It also tells how Purdue became an international leader in flight and space.
Available from Purdue Press and Amazon.
When World War II ended, a new nation began.
And it began on America’s college campuses. Veterans returned home to the GI Bill, and many became the first in their families go to college. They returned home to develop the technologies made possible by the war and to send men to the moon. They returned with still-fresh memories of the Depression, but also with unbridled optimism.
The faith and the determination of those veterans and their classmates – and the quiet revolution they started – are captured in this book. The setting is Purdue University, on the banks of the Wabash River in north-central Indiana. The mosaic of memories is in their own words. Available from Amazon.
Celebrating 125 years of Purdue Bands, this beautifully-illustrated book (which includes a musical CD) traces the history of Purdue University’s Department of Bands from its humble origins as a drum unit for the student army training corps to the 2010 appearance of the “All-American” Marching Band as leader of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York, seen by over fifty million television viewers.
It follows the lives of the organization’s members and legendary directors, such as Paul Spotts Emrick and Al G. Wright, and highlights some of the band’s iconic features, such as the “World’s Largest Drum” and its legendary twirlers; the Golden Girl; the Girl in Black; the Silver Twins; and the Goldusters.
Available from Purdue Press and Amazon.
This was John’s first book chronicling the history of the Purdue bands. Purdue’s “All-American” Marching Band is known as one of the largest in the country, even though Purdue does not have a School of Music. It boasts the “World’s Largest Drum” and a famed twirling line featuring the Purdue Golden Girl. Available at Amazon.
Perhaps Hansen Chein, chairman of Taiwan’s largest broadcasting corporation and a 1975 Purdue graduate, said it best: Purdue has an international heart. It has one of the largest enrollments of international students. For years, many have come from Tiawan, Korea and Hong Kong, economic “tigers” of the Pacific Rim. John Norberg tells the story of that relationship and the people who came here and went on to build new economies and governments. Available at Amazon.
This book captures the story of this leading school of business. Unpublished.
Details the journey of the Purdue Mechanical Engineering department. Where it’s been and where’s it’s going.