It’s obvious that faculty, administration and staff are critical to the success of the Krannert School of Management in providing exceptional educational opportunities to the next generation of global business leaders. What may not be quite as apparent is that our alumni play a critical role as well.
I have been very fortunate in the past several months to meet with many of our outstanding alumni across the nation and across the globe. I was in Hong Kong in January, along with Engineering Dean Leah Jamieson and Science Dean Jeff Roberts, to engage with Purdue alumni in the area. Earlier this month I was in Atlanta. We have a visit to Chicago planned for April 11, and we traveled to see alumni in Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Houston, Chicago and Seoul, South Korea, in 2012.
We are deeply grateful for their financial support that provides scholarships to draw top students, named professorships to attract and keep top faculty, and beautiful and functional facilities like Rawls Hall and the Parrish Library. But, we also appreciate our alumni who come back to recruit our talented students, who encourage potential students to consider Krannert and who share their unique story of how Purdue shaped their future, just like Jody Russell did at our reception for alumni in Atlanta.
Jody is the Human Resources Director at UCB, a global bio-pharmaceutical company. She earned a BS degree in accounting and an MBA from Krannert as well as a law degree Emory University. She had this to say about the unexpected gifts she received from a Krannert education:
When I came to Krannert, I was just swarmed by people who wanted to see me succeed. I couldn’t believe it, these people didn’t know me, but they are already invested in my success. It wasn’t just the Dr. Bells and the Barb Dosters of the world, but they were juniors and seniors on campus who just saw something in me … When I got to Arthur Andersen it was a pure consulting role, and that was just second nature coming from Purdue. When you’ve been in Krannert and you’ve had to work on cases you’ve had to develop strategies and you’ve had to sell those strategies to a wide array of audiences, working in consulting is second nature. I felt so prepared even being removed from that with my stint in law school, my stint in the D.A’s Office … I was very well prepared with the technical background that Purdue gave me as well as confidence – the confidence that I came from a world-class University and I was not going to take a back seat to anybody else.
Jody also highlighted the fact we are facing a very important challenge ahead of us. As many of you have likely heard, the University will freeze tuition for the next two years so a Purdue education remains as affordable and accessible as possible. This is a bold move on the part of President Mitch Daniels and a signal to the country that higher education costs cannot continue to climb unchecked. Now, more than ever, we need your help and support for university initiatives and student scholarships so Purdue can remain a premier institution of higher education both nationally and internationally.
We thank our alumni for sharing their success, their talent and their passion with Krannert, and especially for their support of the next generation of global business leaders currently hard at work at Purdue.
Dean, Krannert School of Management