sealPurdue News

April 7, 2000

Wabash National pledges $2.5 million gift

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Wabash National Corp. of Lafayette has pledged $2.5 million to Purdue University's Krannert School of Management.

The $55 million Krannert at the Frontier campaign, the largest privately funded project in Purdue's history, has as its central goal building and renovating facilities to house the Krannert School's undergraduate and graduate education and research. A new $32 million building will be located across the street from the existing Krannert Building at the corner of State and Grant streets on the West Lafayette campus.

The campaign also seeks $23 million to fund scholarships, endowed professorships and high-technology equipment. To date, the campaign has raised $25.4 million.

In recognition of the latest gift, a room in the new building will be named the Wabash National Corporation Distance Education Amphitheater. The Krannert School uses Internet-based instruction, student-professor and student-student interaction as part of both its on-campus degree offerings and its executive education master's degree programs.

"It is important that we continue to provide our students with top-quality management programs that challenge them to think critically and analytically and prepare them to use technology as a tool in the management decision-making process," said Richard A. Cosier, Krannert School dean and Leeds Professor of Management.

"While Krannert graduates have made their marks in management all over the world, it is gratifying to be recognized by a successful local business such as Wabash National, which is the largest industrial employer in Lafayette."

Wabash National's founder, president and chief executive officer, Donald "Jerry" Ehrlich, came to Purdue from Francesville, Ind., to study engineering. Since then, Ehrlich has been very involved with Purdue. He is a long-time supporter of the Krannert School and a member of the Dean's Advisory Council. Purdue professors regularly conduct classes at Wabash National's headquarters. Purdue scholarships in Ehrlich's name totaling $500,000 have been funded by friends of Wabash National Corp.

"We are very fortunate to have a university of the caliber of Purdue right here in our own backyard," Ehrlich said. "And even if the Krannert School weren't located here, Purdue would be one of the institutions we would support. We feel Purdue does one of the best jobs anywhere preparing its students to succeed."

Some of those students are Wabash National employees and their children, whose educations are being funded by Donald "Jerry" Ehrlich Scholarships/Fellowships. A dozen students have received the $8,000 annual renewable grants to pursue Purdue degrees since the scholarship's inception in 1996. Several current Purdue students are Ehrlich Scholars.

Wabash National Corp. designs, manufactures and markets standard and customized truck trailers. The company is one of the largest manufacturers of truck trailers, the leading manufacturer of composite trailers and, through its RoadRailer Division, the leading manufacturer of bimodal vehicles. The company's wholly owned subsidiary, Fruehauf Trailer Services Inc., is one of the leading retail distributors of new and used trailers and aftermarket parts, including its Fruehauf and Pro-Par brand products.

Ehrlich and 16 associates founded Wabash National in 1985. The company went public in 1991 and is traded on the New York Stock Exchange. Ehrlich was named Entrepreneur of the Year by Inc. magazine in 1992. Forbes magazine has named Wabash National one of the best 200 small companies in America.

Source: Richard A. Cosier, (765) 494-4366;

Writer: Mike Lillich, (765) 494-2077;

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

* To the Purdue News and Photos Page