Purdue News

October 13, 2005

Two Krannert alumni CEOs honored for $1 million gifts

William and Patricia Kassling

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Two corporate CEOs and their spouses were honored for making $1 million gifts to Purdue University and the Krannert School of Management.

William E. and Patricia J. Kassling and Thomas A. and Evelyn Page were honored Thursday (Oct. 13) as part of the Krannert School of Management's Leadership Speakers Series featuring keynote speaker Steve Forbes, editor-in-chief of Forbes magazine and former presidential candidate.

Half of the Kassling gift will go toward student scholarships, and the other half will support the Dean's Fund for new programs and initiatives. A room in Rawls Hall will be named in honor of Bill Kassling, who received his bachelor's degree in industrial management from the Krannert School in 1967.

President Martin C. Jischke said it was appropriate for the gifts to be announced at the school's annual leadership event.

"At Purdue, we are proud of the leadership of Krannert School alumni in business," Jischke said. "Their gifts will be put to good use educating the next generation of Purdue industry leaders."

The Pages, who have made cumulative gifts to Purdue of more than $1 million, have contributed to endowed funds that support Krannert School master's degree students as well as civil engineering students. A reception and waiting area in Rawls Hall has been named in their honor.

William Kassling is president, chairman and CEO of Wabtec Corp., which formerly was the Westinghouse Air Brake Co.

Wabtec, based in Wilmerding, Pa., has revenues of more than $1 billion and employs approximately 5,000 people worldwide. It is one of North America's largest providers of value-added technology-based products and services for the rail industry.

Kassling joined American Standard's Railway Products Group in 1984 as vice president. He and his management team purchased the company from American Standard in 1990, then took it public on the New York Stock Exchange in 1995.

Kassling was born in St. Louis, and Patricia is a native of Beaver Falls, Pa.

Thomas Page is former CEO, president and chairman of the board of Enova Corp. and the San Diego Gas and Electric Co., retiring in 1998. He received his bachelor's degree in civil engineering from Purdue and master's degree in industrial administration from the Krannert School. He is a certified public accountant and a professional engineer.

Page also is a member of the Dean's Advisory Council and Purdue's National Campaign Cabinet. Purdue awarded him an honorary doctorate in management in 1994. He and Evelyn, a graduate of Miami University, live in El Cajon, Calif. The Pages are both natives of Niagara Falls, N.Y.

Richard Cosier, Krannert School dean and Leeds Professor of Management, underscored the importance of the Kasslings' and Pages' gifts.

"Bill and Tricia and Tom and Evelyn have stepped up with leadership gifts that will move the school forward now and into the future," he said. "I've appreciated Bill's and Tom's counsel as members of the Dean's Advisory Council, and I can speak for our faculty, students and staff and express how much we appreciate their confidence in our enterprise."

Kassling described the Krannert gift in terms of both giving back to his alma mater and investing in the future.

"The Krannert School gave me a great start to my career, and it seems to me I owe it to the school to give back and assist others in obtaining a Krannert education," he said. "Contributing to Krannert is a can't-miss investment opportunity – Midwestern values and work ethic coupled with an outstanding business school."

For the second straight year, The Wall Street Journal named Krannert a No. 1 MBA school, along with Dartmouth's Tuck School, in a poll of recruiters.

The Krannert School offers three full-time master's degrees in management and human resource management; four executive MBAs through a combination of distance-learning and part-time residence on campus; bachelor's degrees in accounting, economics, management and industrial management; and the doctorate.

The Krannert School has about 2,550 undergraduate management majors, 370 full-time master's degree students and 100 doctoral students.

Writer: Mike Lillich, (765) 494-2077, mlillich@purdue.edu

Sources: Martin Jischke, (765) 496-9708

Richard Cosier, (765) 494-4366, rcosier@purdue.edu

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu


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