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August 22, 2012

Alum gives named professorship gift to Engineering Education

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Geoffrey T. Crowley, a Purdue engineering alumnus, has given a $750,000 gift to the School of Engineering Education to be used for a named professorship.

Through Purdue's Faculty Fund for Excellence, the gift from the Geoffrey T. Crowley Family Foundation will be matched dollar for dollar, bringing the total for the professorship to $1.5 million.

"Geoff Crowley is a real champion of our school," said David F. Radcliffe, the Kamyar Haghighi Head of Engineering Education and Epistemology Professor of Engineering Education. "Purdue is already known as a hub of research and leadership in the growing discipline of engineering education. The new professorship that Mr. Crowley has funded will enable us to accomplish even more by attracting an eminent scholar who can help us continue to expand our efforts to transform how we educate engineers."

Crowley, who lives in Appleton, Wis., is president of Northshore Leasing. He earned a bachelor's degree in interdisciplinary engineering from Purdue in 1974.

"The need for high-quality educators grows every year," Crowley said. "The School of Engineering Education is an exceptional opportunity to make a significant contribution to incoming engineering students and have a significant impact on how we educate our future engineers nationwide. It is an incredible program, and we are happy to create an opportunity for an individual to make a difference."

Crowley has made significant contributions to the aviation industry through consulting, marketing, customer service and quality assurance. In 1993 he and his partners acquired Air Wisconsin, then close to bankruptcy. They grew the airline from 12 planes and 600 employees to 86 planes, more than 3,500 employees and a route system spread throughout the United States and Canada.

He was named one of Purdue's distinguished engineering alumni in 2010. 

Crowley is a longtime donor to Purdue engineering. One earlier gift funds the Teaching Undergraduates for Learning Investment Program, an Engineering Education initiative to train doctoral students and postdoctoral staff in teaching engineering to undergraduates.

The Faculty Fund for Excellence was established earlier this year to raise private gifts that will be matched by up to $7.25 million in university funds designated for faculty investment. 

The program is designed to endow new professorships. Named and distinguished professorships offer a way for the university to recognize contributions by faculty to their areas of expertise.

Writer: Judith Barra Austin, 765-494-2432, jbaustin@purdue.edu

Source: David Radcliffe, 765-494-3884, dradcliffe@purdue.edu