Roland Parrish

Roland Parrish received Krannert’s Burton D. Morgan Entrepreneurship Award at the 2008 Leadership Speakers Series. (Photo by Mark Simons)

On the Fast Track

Parrish gift puts Libraries’ project into high gear

Alumnus Roland Parrish and his wife, Jewel, spent their 33rd wedding anniversary at the library.

Of course, it wasn’t just any library. It was the future Roland G. Parrish Library of Management and Economics.

Parrish, family members and friends packed the current location of the Management and Economics Library (MEL) on Homecoming Weekend in October to celebrate Parrish’s $2 million leadership gift to support Purdue University Libraries’ $4.2 million MEL renovation project.

The final phase of that project is under way, with extensive renovations beginning in May.


Krannert celebrated Roland Parrish’s $2 million leadership gift to support Purdue Libraries’ renovation of the Management and Economics Library during ceremonies on Homecoming Weekend. (Photo by Mark Simons)

When complete, the facility will stand as a prototype state-of-the-art library, laboratory and learning commons. Dedication ceremonies are scheduled for early January 2012 before classes resume.

Parrish called the ceremony and the events leading up to it a celebration of the American Dream.

“My experience at Purdue was very positive, and my success speaks to the quality of education I received at the University,” said Parrish, who graduated from the Krannert School with a bachelor’s degree in industrial management in 1975 and a master’s degree in management in 1976.

Parrish went on to become the president, CEO and owner of Parrish McDonald’s Restaurants Ltd., which owns 25 McDonald’s franchises in North Texas. The average franchisee owns five restaurants. His company consistently makes Black Enterprise magazine’s BE 100 as one of the Top 100 Black Owned Businesses in the United States — another goal he had set and then met in record time.

1 | 2 | 3