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Equipping Future Business Leaders

Tom and Mary Howatt smiling

The child of a Scottish immigrant, Tom Howatt (M’72, MS M’73) was the first in his family to attend college. “What I learned growing up was a strong work ethic—something that has served me well my entire life,” he says.

Howatt started out studying aeronautical and astronautical engineering before discovering his true passion in Purdue’s management school. After earning bachelor’s and master’s degrees, he went on to become president and CEO of Wausau Paper.

In 2015, Howatt and his wife, Mary, committed $1.5 million to fund the Thomas J. Howatt Chair in Management. A few years later, on Purdue Day of Giving, they made a $2.2 million commitment to establish the Howatt Scholars program, which provides 12 merit-based full-tuition scholarships in the Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. School of Business.

“Each year when we come back for Homecoming, we continue to be impressed with the students we have the chance to meet,” says Howatt, who hopes to inspire others to give back as well.

In addition to the above gifts, his estate plan includes a $20 million provision to support the business school. “What was accomplished over the last decade at the university level under Mitch Daniels’s leadership—and at the business school under Dean David Hummels—was very meaningful to me,” Howatt says. “Those advances—coupled with the recent renaming of the school and the strategy to position it as a preeminent business school in the U.S.—seemed to make this the right time to publicly acknowledge the inclusion of Purdue in my estate plan.”

Howatt believes effective business leadership will impact the nation’s future and that the university will play a significant role. “The recently announced integrated business and engineering degree in the business school is consistent with the path I followed at Purdue,” he says. “I believe the university’s strategy is destined to position Purdue as a top source of business leaders.”

Purdue invited Howatt to join the Dean’s Advisory Council in 2001, and he continues to serve today. “Over the last eight or so years, terrific things have been achieved,” Howatt says. “I’m pleased to be a part of the advisory council during these exciting times.”

More President's Council News

Shari Harmon Ashkar leaning against a pole posing in front of a pool

Changing Lives One Stitch at a Time

“A college degree is life-changing,” Shari Harmon Ashkar (HHS’75) says. “We’re so lucky to have a world-renowned university in Indiana that offers not only a wonderful education but also wonderful opportunities
as you’re studying. I’m very proud to join with Purdue and help someone get a head start on a better life.”

Mark and Melanie Kidder smiling with their arms wrapped around one another

Lift as You Climb

“Lift as you climb” is a phrase Mark (S’95) and Melanie Kidder have come to live by. “You lift somebody else up and help them climb to the top with you,” Melanie explains.

Purdue for Life Foundation

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.