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Today's Visionaries

Today's Visionaries - The Herman and Ellnora Krannert Way

First in his family to attend college, Tom Howatt gives time, skills, and dollars.Tom Howatt

"An endowed professorship was the right thing for me to do to help recruit and retain top-tier professors who, I believe, are a critical element in positioning Krannert for future success.”
Tom Howatt, Krannert Alumnus

Tom Howatt is the son of a Scottish immigrant who left Glasgow with his family and resettled in Gary, Indiana. Tom attended Purdue University with a National Merit Scholarship. He was the first of his family to attend college. Tom understands the impact and good faith inherent in giving.

Tom graduated from Purdue with a bachelor’s degree in 1972 and a master’s degree in 1973, both in management. He joined Wausau Paper Mills Company in 1980 and worked his way up. He became president and CEO in 2000. Under his leadership and through a rapidly changing economy and industry, Wausau Paper grew, boasting peak revenues of $1.3 billion. In 2014, Tom retired after a 34-year association with Wausau Paper Mills.

Tom has served on the Krannert Deans’ Advisory Council, giving to Purdue through his executive skills and time. Yet, his longstanding dream to impact Krannert on an even deeper basis was realized in 2015. 

Tom and his wife, Mary, committed $1.5 million to fund the Thomas J. Howatt Chair in Management.

For his generosity and administrative spirit, Tom was bestowed the President’s Council Distinguished Pinnacle Award from Purdue President Mitch Daniels.

"I’ve been fortunate to be in positions of leadership and to know first-hand how much leadership matters,” he says. "So many things are moving in the right direction. I couldn’t be more pleased with the direction Purdue, and Krannert under Dean Hummels’ leadership, are headed and the level of excellence to which we aspire."