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updated: 2/28/2014 6:45 AM

Purdue, donor split over God reference for plaque

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Associated Press

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- A Purdue University graduate is fighting the school's refusal to allow him to include a reference to God on a dedication plaque.

A lawyer for Michael McCracken and his wife says Purdue asked what wording they wanted for a conference room plaque after the couple made a $12,500 donation to the School of Mechanical Engineering in 2012.

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Their proposed inscription honored those seeking "to better the world through the understanding of God's physical laws and innovation of practical solutions."

Purdue attorney Steve Schultz tells the Journal & Courier that because the school is a public institution it worries about expensive litigation if it allows the inscription.

McCracken's attorney says the First Amendment allows the proposed wording and the couple might file a lawsuit if the dispute isn't resolved.

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