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Setting Expectations

Marge Magner's mission: to ensure women have a seat at the table.


Marge Magner As a Purdue University freshman on the first day of classes in 1974, Marge Magner came close to turning her packed vehicle around to hightail it out of “Dodge.” Hard to imagine now—for Marge Magner is one of the most powerful women in business and one of the Krannert School of Management’s most celebrated graduates.

If she had not faced her fears that day and stayed at Purdue more than forty years ago, women students today would not have Marge Magner as their stellar, charitable role model.

Today, Marjorie (Marge) Magner (MSIA ’74, HDR ’04) says her decision to stay at Krannert and meet the challenges of its academic rigors was the best decision of her career. And what a career it has been: Marge is the founding member and partner of Brysam Global Partners, a specialized private equity firm that invests in financial services with a focus on consumer opportunities.

Marge was named to the Fortune magazine list of Most Powerful Women in Business from 2001 to 2004, the Forbes magazine list of the World's Most Powerful Women (#19), and U.S. Banker's list of the Most Powerful Women in Banking (#1). 

As grueling and difficult as the Krannert curriculum was, Marge says her education and experience at Purdue helped shape her career ascent in a time when she was one of the very few women rising through the ranks of the business world.

“Marge Magner's gift has been instrumental in allowing us to launch an initiative aimed at teaching entrepreneurship skills to girls and young women, helping lift them out of poverty.”
-David Hummels, Dean of the Krannert School of Management

Marge is a devoted mentor to women students. She believes in the power of schooling. “I believe strongly in public education from grade school on, including my time at Krannert,” says Marge. “The strength of this country has a lot to do with accessible high-quality education, and it has served me well in my career.”

To ensure that women will have a seat at the table in corporate leadership positions, now and in the future, she has funded an endowed chair—the Magner Professorship in Management—focusing on women’s success in business, gender diversity, and inclusion for underrepresented populations. 

Marge has authorized the revenue accumulated and future earnings from her endowment to support the research efforts of Dr. Alok Chaturvedi, professor of management and director of the Institute for Social Empowerment Through Entrepreneurship and Knowledge (iSeek).

“The project meshes perfectly with Marge’s longstanding advocacy for women and youth,” says David Hummels, Dean of The Krannert School of Management. “She serves as a role model for all of our students in mixing a highly successful business career with her commitment to humanity.”

Marge Magner received the Krannert Business Leadership Award, the highest honor the school can bestow, and the President’s Council Distinguished Pinnacle Award in 2015. 

"I believe strongly in public education from Krannert," she says.  "The strength of this country has a lot to do with accessible high-quality education, and it has served me well in my career."
-Marge Magner