* Purdue University's Krannert School of Management

March 27, 2009

Purdue celebration to honor diversity champion Cornell Bell

Cornell Bell
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Purdue University's Krannert School of Management will honor the life and contributions of diversity advocate Cornell A. Bell on April 3.

"A Celebration of Cornell Bell" begins at 4 p.m. in the Krannert Drawing Room on the main floor of the Krannert Building. Faculty, staff, students, alumni and the public are invited to attend.

Bell, 84, spent his career recruiting and mentoring minority students through the Business Opportunity Program, which he led for more than 37 years. He died March 20 in Ann Arbor, Mich.

"Dr. Bell's dedication to the Business Opportunity Program had a positive impact on the lives of its more than 800 alumni, as well as everyone who knew him," said Richard Cosier, Krannert dean and Leeds Professor of Management.

"His work was instrumental in helping minorities receive the welcome and support necessary to attend and succeed at Krannert. He was a pioneer and a leader in promoting diversity at Purdue."

Bell headed the program for much of his Purdue career, retiring in 2006. He also worked toward increasing diversity at business schools nationwide through his involvement with the Graduate Management Admission Council.

Bell received several state and Purdue awards for his service, most recently including an honorary doctorate of management from the university in 2007 in recognition of his contributions to higher education and society. Former Indiana Gov. Evan Bayh named Bell a Sagamore of the Wabash in 1996. He also received the Harold T. Amrine Visionary Award in 1994 and the Indiana Bell Award in 1991. He received the Purdue Alumni Association's Special Boilermaker Award in 1987 and the M. Beverley Stone Non-Academic Counseling Award in 1990.  

Bell attended Indiana University, earning his bachelor's degree in 1947 and his master's degree in 1952. He earned a doctorate in education from Purdue in 1972.

The celebration will include reflections from Cosier and Dan Schendel, a faculty member who was instrumental in establishing the Business Opportunity Program in the late 1960s. An undergraduate student and a graduate student also will speak.

Writer: Tanya Brown, (765) 494-2079,

Source: Richard Cosier, (765) 494-4366,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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