Lorene McCormick Burkhart is the Center for Families’ founding donor and a 1956 Purdue University alumna. She began her career as a home economics teacher and then progressed through public relations, broadcasting, marketing, consumer services (director at Jenn Air Corporation), new product development (director at Borden’s Dairy Division), publishing (owner of the Register, a monthly that ceased in 1998), and now Burkhart Network, a book publisher of her books.
Burkhart has been affiliated with numerous community organizations serving the arts, youth, elderly, and healthcare issues. Her most recent board appointments include Ivy Tech Foundation Board and the editorial board of the Saturday Evening Post.
She has been recognized repeatedly for her philanthropic contributions and commitment to her community. In 1990 and again in 1997, she was named Sagamore of the Wabash by Indiana governors. In 1992, she received the Golden Achievement Award from Purdue University’s School of Consumer and Family Sciences. In 1993, she was named Philanthropist of the Year by the Network of Women in Business. In 1996, she received the Ambassador of the Year and Distinguished Service Awards from Purdue.
Burkhart has an honorary doctorate from the University of Indianapolis, where she also served as a trustee. In 1997, she received an honorary doctorate from Purdue University in recognition of her public service and philanthropy on behalf of Indiana children and families.