My anecdote, while disapointing, might bring a smile to your face, because it might be familiar. One of my brothers lives in Terre Haute, Indiana....
My Dad (who isn't Polish--my Mom was Polish and Slovak) grew up in Terre Haute (and I have a lot of family from his side still in that area). My wife and I just recently reconnected with an old friend from there, who now lives in Brazil, just east of T. H.
We took him and his kids to the Taste of Polonia a couple of weeks ago. They're not familiar with Polish food, so we shared a ton of kiełbasa, gołąbki, and several kinds of pierogi. They raved about it into the next day. (Our friend raved about the cute Polish girls even longer.)
They've already expressed an interest in returning next year, so we treated them to some kiełbasa and Alexandra's pierogi from our freezer last week. They were ecstatic.
We're going camping with them this weekend, and they requested that we bring some kiełbasa & sauerkraut. (I figure that'll be great with some Okocim around a campfire.) It's refreshing to see the flip side of your brother's experience, where, when you share a part of the culture, it's embraced.
I'm sure there are Polish students at Purdue.
I imagine so, but I try to stay away from campus: it's a mess the way it's laid out. And besides, these kids nowadays.... :-)
there are poles or descendants in that area though
They're so hard to find, though, as there's not much Polish Pride on display around here.