Fred Klipsch (BSTECH ’64, HDR ’07)Fred Klipsch

Former President, CEO and Chairman, Klipsch Group

Fred’s life work exemplifies his multi-faceted leadership philosophy. In addition to the explosive growth of Klipsch Audio Technologies at his helm, at Purdue he has served on its Indianapolis Campaign Steering Committee, Old Masters program, and College of Technology Dean’s Executive Council. He received an Honorary Doctorate Degree from Purdue. He was active in Air Force ROTC while at Purdue and served as an officer in the Air Force Space Systems Division in California. While station there, he earned an MBA at California State College, Long Beach. Due to his business acumen, he has been invited to serve on numerous corporate boards. Through his career, Fred has been highly is active in many civic and philanthropic organizations: School Choice Indiana, Hoosiers for Economic Growth, Educational Choice Charitable Trust, and Education Committee for the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. He was the recipient of the Central Indiana Business Hall of Fame award, Indiana Heartlands Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year, and NCEA Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Award in recognition of his lifelong dedication to Catholic education.

Eugene ParkerEugene Parker (BSIM ’78)

Divisional CEO, Relativity Sports

Eugene was a four-year starter on the Purdue men’s basketball team where he was a team captain for two years and earned All-Big Ten awards and the coveted John Wooden Award as the MVP for Purdue. While he was drafted to play professional basketball, he instead pursued his law degree and enjoyed a successful legal career. He ultimately formed his own firm, Parker & Associates – later renamed to Maximum Sports Management – then merged with other top sports agencies to form Relatively Sports, where he served as CEO of its football division. Eugene was selected by Black Enterprise Magazine in 2005 as a “50 Most Powerful Blacks in Sports”. He has similarly been honored by other media outlets, including Forbes Magazine, Sports Business Journal, Sports Illustrated, and ESPN. He was most proud to be a devoted husband to the love of his life, June and loving father to his five children. A posthumous induction, Eugene passed away March 2016.

Jerry SemlerJerry Semler (BSIEC ’58, HDR ’02)

Chairman Emeritus, OneAmerica Financial Partners

Jerry had an incredibly successful career with insurance giant, American United Life (AUL) Insurance. Starting as a management trainee he rose to the ranks of Chairman, President, and CEO. At Purdue, Jerry has been involved on the President’s Council and Krannert School of Management Dean’s Advisory Council. He is also a graduate of Stanford University Business Executive Program. His civic contributions are numerous: United Way of Central Indiana, James Whitcomb Riley Memorial Association, “500” Festival Association, Indiana Sports Corporation, Indianapolis Museum of Art, Downtown Indy, Indiana Chamber of Commerce, and Catholic Community Foundation. He was recipient of the Business Leader of the Year by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce. Jerry’s honors include: Lifetime Achievement Award from the Indiana Association of Life Underwriters, Unsung Hero Award from Million Dollar Roundtable, twice named Sagamore of the Wabash, Whitney Young Award from the Indianapolis Black Community, and Horatio Alger Award from the Boys and Girls Clubs of Indianapolis.

Father Phil BowersIn addition to its Hall of Flame class, the BBE unveiled the Father Phil Bowers Award, which will be presented annually to a non-businessperson who has contributed to the quality of life in Indiana. Fittingly, the first recipient was Father Phil Bowers, who retired as the pastor of Holy Spirit Parish at Geist, Indiana, after 50 years in the priesthood.

The BBE was formed by a group of businessmen and women in the Indianapolis area who share a common passion for all things that are Purdue. The goal of the organization is to raise the profile of Purdue University in Indianapolis and to support Purdue University, the Purdue Alumni Association and the John Purdue Club.

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