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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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