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* Krannert celebrates 50th anniversary with lecture, panels, alumni

* Krannert School of Management

October 22, 2007

Krannert to get $4.2 million facelift thanks to gifts from alumni

Steve Webster
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Purdue University's Krannert School of Management has announced that a $2 million gift from alumnus Steve Webster will help with building and classroom improvements.

"With the support of alumni like Steve Webster, Purdue has raised $3.8 million of the $4.2 million needed to upgrade the 42-year-old Krannert Building," said President France A. Córdova. "We at Purdue appreciate this generous support."

Webster has served on the Krannert School's advisory council since 1998. He also gave the school a $2 million gift in 2000 for its $55 million Krannert at the Frontier campaign, which provided funding for the school's newest building, Rawls Hall, at the corner of State and Grant streets on the West Lafayette campus.

Richard Cosier
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"Steve Webster has come to bat for Krannert time and again, both monetarily and by serving on our advisory board. To say we're grateful is an understatement," said Richard A. Cosier, Krannert School dean and Leeds Professor of Management. "He understands our need to depend on alumni who can provide the skills and advice to help us sustain our constant drive to compete on a national and global level. His generous gift will allow us to continue with a series of improvements in the Krannert Building that include expanding and improving undergraduate facilities."

Plans include moving advisers and counselors from the basement to the third floor, which will afford students better accessibility and privacy, Cosier said. The Management and Economics Library on the second floor also will be renovated.

"In the last 10 years, I have had the opportunity to become more involved with Purdue, and Krannert in particular," said Webster, who lives in Houston. "It has been very rewarding to see the momentum that continues to build. I hope that we continue to broaden our alumni support, as we all need to invest to keep Krannert on the cutting edge."

Webster received his bachelor's degree from Krannert in 1973. He earned an MBA with high distinction in 1975 from Harvard Business School, where he was a Baker Scholar. He is co-managing partner and president of Avista Capital Partners, a private equity investment firm he co-founded in 2005 that invests in energy, health care and media.

Since 1975 Webster has been active as a principal, investor and financial intermediary in energy and other industries. He was chairman, CEO and founder of Falcon Drilling Co., an offshore drilling contractor, and led its merger with Reading & Bates Corp. and Cliffs Drilling Co. to form R&B Falcon Corp., where he was president and CEO. He also was involved in founding or reorganizing a number of companies in energy and other industries, including oil company Carrizo Oil & Gas, land oil and gas driller Grey Wolf, offshore driller Hercules Offshore, geophysical contractor Geokinetics, precious metals exploration company Crown Resources and bank holding company Encore Bancshares. Prior to Avista's founding, Webster served as chairman of Global Energy Partners, an affiliate of Credit Suisse Private Equity. 

The gift announcement is part of a two-week series of events surrounding Purdue's Oct. 27 Homecoming. The events focus on ways Purdue is improving education and the quality of life in Indiana.

Krannert will celebrate its 50th anniversary Oct. 25-26 with alumni panels, musical activities and speakers that include former U.S. Sen. George Mitchell and Nobel Prize laureate Vernon Smith.

Krannert School of Management offers 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.

Writer: Maggie Morris, (765) 494-2432,

Sources: Rick Cosier, (765) 494-4366,

Tim Newton, Krannert School director of external relations and communications, (765) 496-7271,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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