Mr. Ralph Weiger Doctor of Engineering

May 2014  


Ralph Weiger

Ralph Weiger 
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Born in Northern Indiana, Ralph Weiger attended high school in Gary, graduating in 1943 at the age of 18. He soon joined the U.S. Navy Air Corp, and served as a pilot during World War II. 

When the war ended in 1945, Weiger took advantage of the G.I. Bill and an athletic scholarship to Purdue University to study electrical engineering and play varsity football and basketball. 

After graduating in 1949, Weiger's first job was at Square D Company, a manufacturer of electrical switches and control devices for residential trade and industry. It paid $165 per month. Assigned to the Cleveland sales office, Weiger rose to regional manager within a few years. His boss left to join a competitor as president and one year later, Weiger joined him as vice president and enjoyed a large salary increase. By this time, he was recognized as an industry leader, not only for his knowledge in electronics, but also for his expertise in marketing, new product sales and mergers and acquisitions. He had become an executive manager with broad skills. 

His company was acquired by IC of Chicago. In short order, IC purchased three other companies and made Weiger CEO/President of each, including Midas International Corporation. 

Having been in the Midas Franchise business for many years, Weiger was the leader of The International Franchise Association in Washington, D.C. As past president of the group, Weiger continues his involvement and was presented the Hall of Fame Award in 2002 by President George Bush, selected from 1,200 member companies. He continues today as a consultant in Franchise with the Moneco Group. 

Weiger has been honored in many national publications. In 1957, Business Week wrote an article called “Automation & Ralph,” about his fieldwork in creating new engineering processes with Ford. Time magazine published an article about him in 1977 called the “Midas Touch.” 

In the late 1970s through the early 1980s, Weiger moved to Kuwait and became president, COO of Yusef A. Alghanim & Sons, a billion-dollar trading company. They became the largest General Motors dealer in the world in 1979, as Weiger managed 17 product lines and profit centers. 

Weiger and his wife moved back to their home in the United States, where he became president and vice chairman of Jiffy Lube. By the time they were 70, the couple began to look for places to retire. They settled on Prescott, Arizona, in 1993 and built a large house atop a hill. Weiger has continued to become a valued member of this historic community with his many volunteer projects. 

Weiger also founded the Arizona Transplant House Foundation at Mayo Clinic in 1997. The Foundation helps organ transplant patients, before and after surgery. He retired from the board in 2012. 

His affiliation with Purdue has continued long after graduation. In 1999, Weiger was chairman of the Purdue Class of 1949's 50th  Anniversary Reunion and helped raise $5,376,400 in a five-year period for two major Purdue projects. A diehard Boilermaker, Weiger endowed “The Ralph Weiger Electrical and Computer Engineering Scholarship” in 2001. He received a Distinguished Engineering Alumnus Award from Purdue in 1992 in Computer and Electrical Executive Management for Automation in Industry. 

Weiger's storied career has afforded him opportunities to help many charity groups over the years. He has served on United Nations committees and as director and president of the Travel Program for Foreign Diplomats, Adjunct Professor 1995 of Thunderbird, Trustee of the N.J. Symphony Orchestra, Man of The Year 2006 award in Prescott Area Leadership, Hall of Fame Sigma Chi Fraternity, Yavapai County Community Foundation Philanthropist of the Year in 2001, director of the Arizona Children's Association 2006, Purdue Alumni Association Life Member and on the Purdue President's Council.

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