Alumni generosity helps support school's future
A trio of million-dollar gifts to Purdue and the Krannert School of Management from William and Patricia Kassling, Thomas and Evelyn Page, and Al and Nancy Schleicher will assist students with tuition, support existing programs at the school, and attract new faculty.
Half of the Kasslings’ gift is designated for the William E. Kassling Dean’s Undergraduate Scholarship Fund, says Amy McGough, manager of development operations and donor relations for Krannert. The $500,000 endowment will produce an annual income of approximately $22,500 in perpetuity, she says, and the scholarship recipients will be known as the William E. Kassling Dean’s Scholars.
“With the rising cost of tuition and drastically reduced availability of state funds, scholarships are more critical than ever,” says McGough. “The Kasslings’ generosity will make the gift of a Krannert education possible to those who might otherwise not be able to pursue their educational endeavors.”
The remaining half of the Kasslings’ gift will support the Krannert Development Fund, an unrestricted gift fund that gives the dean the freedom to allocate resources where they are needed most. Unrestricted funds allow the school to start new research initiatives such as the Global Supply Chain Management Initiative (GSCMI), support talented young faculty, and enrich students’ lives through activities such as the Krannert Executive Forum.
A room in Jerry S. Rawls Hall is named in honor of William Kassling, BSIM ’67, who serves as president, chairman, and CEO of Wabtec Corp., one of North America’s largest providers of products and services for the rail industry. In addition, the Kasslings were honored with a President’s Council Distinguished Pinnacle Award at the Krannert Leadership Speakers Series in October.
Thomas and Evelyn Page also received a Pinnacle Award at Krannert’s annual leadership event. They have made cumulative gifts to Purdue of more than $1 million since 1993 through the Thomas and Evelyn Page Leadership Fellowships, an endowed fund that provides assistance to Krannert master’s degree students who have shown both academic excellence in the classroom and outstanding leadership in their communities.
Among the many students influenced by the Pages’ generosity is past fellowship awardee Don Blewett, MBA ’02, who now serves as associate director of Purdue’s Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship. “It is gratifying to be recognized for something that you have been trying to do your whole life — to be a leader,” Blewett says.
Thomas Page, BSCE ’55, MSIA ’63, HDR ’94, is former CEO, president, and chairman of Enova Corp. and San Diego Gas and Electric Co., retiring in 1998. He remains a director emeritus of both companies, which are now a part of Sempra Energy Corp. A reception and waiting area in Rawls Hall has been named in honor of Page and his wife.
Of the $1 million gift made to the University by Al and Nancy Schleicher, $750,000 will be used to fund a new chair in management at the Krannert School. The Schleichers received a Pinnacle Award at a President’s Council event in November, where Purdue President Martin C. Jischke recognized the couple for their leadership in helping to shape the University’s future.
“Endowed professorships and chairs enable us to provide extra incentives to attract and retain world-class teachers and researchers,” Jischke said. “The ultimate beneficiaries of this plan will be our students; the citizens of Indiana; and our partners in discovery, learning, and engagement throughout the world.”
Al Schleicher, BSME ’66, completed a 35-year career with IBM in 1999 as vice president of finance with the Global Sales and Distribution Group, where he was responsible for worldwide business controls, budget and planning functions, and review of alliance and acquisition activities. He received the Krannert Distinguished Alumni Award in 1994 and was awarded an honorary doctorate of management in 2003.
Krannert Dean Rick Cosier underscored the importance of the Kasslings’, Pages’, and Schleichers’ generosity during his remarks at the leadership event in October. “Our alumni have stepped up with leadership gifts that will move the school forward now and into the future,” he said. “I can speak for our faculty, students, and staff and express how much we appreciate their confidence in our enterprise.”
— Mike Lillich/Eric Nelson