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Marshall and Susan Larsen

Championing future leaders

High-achieving business students are being offered transformational opportunities, thanks to the generosity of Krannert alumnus and Dean’s Advisory Council member Marshall Larsen (master’s degree in industrial administration ’77) and his wife, Susan.

The pair were on campus in the fall for the unveiling of the newly named Larsen Leaders Academy, formerly known as the Krannert Leaders Academy, which has a record-high 130 undergraduates participating this year. “We were so impressed meeting the students,” says Susan. “We’re proud to see Krannert graduating young leaders with so much maturity that are ready to make a difference in the world.”

Academy students can take upper-division courses upon admission and have the option to take part in a residential learning community. They can also engage with alumni and other prospective mentors in special networking events, and—because of the Larsens’ support—all academy students are now eligible for a $1,000 scholarship to be used for an educational experience of their choice.

“Attending a conference or studying abroad are popular options,” says academy director Sharlee Lyons. “Just in the last year, we’ve had an academy student present a paper at Oxford University and another attend the Quinnipiac financial conference in New York.”

After earning an engineering degree from West Point and serving six years in the Army, Marshall graduated from Purdue and began a 35-year career at Goodrich Corporation, where he eventually served as CEO, president, and chairman. “I don’t know that I would have been CEO without having gone to Purdue,” says Marshall. “Because of my Krannert degree, I got visibility and I wasn’t starting at the bottom.”

The Larsens are committed to supporting Purdue in graduating top leaders. “Putting undergraduates into leadership positions while they’re on campus makes all the difference,” says Marshall. “It sets them apart when they go into the world.”

Krannert is attracting higher-caliber students through the Larsen Leaders Academy, and that is helping to elevate the school. “The academy is the dream of Krannert professor Dr. Charlene Sullivan. She is the visionary,” says Lyons. “Because of the Larsens, the dream is coming true.”

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Patsy J. Mellott

BS College of Health and Human Sciences, 1969
Fishers, IN

Patsy earned a bachelor’s degree in food and nutrition in business from Purdue in 1969, in addition to an MBA in food marketing from Michigan State University in 1970. She retired from Kraft Foods in 2006 after 36 years in corporate food marketing and marketing communications management.

A community volunteer, Patsy serves on the Women’s Fund of Central Indiana Advisory Board and the Purdue College of Health and Human Sciences Dean’s Leadership Council, in addition to the President’s Council Advisory Board. She is a former member of the Health and Human Sciences Alumni Board. Patsy held several offices from 2006 through 2013, including president and treasurer. She serves her community’s Discover Indianapolis Club in Fishers, holding several leadership roles for over 10 years.

Patsy has received several honors, including the Purdue University Nutrition Science Department Hall of Fame recipient in 2009 and the Purdue University College of Health and Human Sciences Distinguished Alumni Award in 2016. She also received the college’s Gold and Black Award in 2016, an honor reserved for donors who have moved the college forward by committing exceptional financial resources.

In addition to endowing two scholarships, the Patsy J. Mellott Scholarship and Patsy J. Mellott HHS Scholarship, she established the Patsy J. Mellott Teaching Innovation Award in the College of Health and Human Sciences in 2013. In 2015, she endowed the Patsy J. Mellott Women’s Tennis Coach Performance Award. She is a lead donor in the Christine M. Ladisch Faculty Leadership Award and the Purdue Women’s Network Virginia C. Meredith Scholarship for the College of Health and Human Sciences.