President Mitch Daniels presented two Pinnacle Awards during President’s Council weekend in February in Naples, Fla.

Jerry and Sally Skidmore were recognized for a $750,000 gift, matched by the University one-to-one, to endow the Jerry and Sally Skidmore Professorship in Chemical Engineering. With the gift, the Skidmores’ lifetime giving exceeds $1 million.

Jerry Skidmore received his Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from Purdue in 1954. In 1963, he started Skidmore Enterprises, which became Skidmore Sales and Distribution Co. in 1971. The company is now one of the largest distributors of industrial food ingredients to the food industry.

Andris Zoltners received the Pinnacle Award through a gift of $1.5 million matched with an additional $1 million of University funds. It brings the total for the Andris A. Zoltners Professorship in the College of Science to $2.5 million.

Zoltners earned a master’s degree in mathematics from Purdue in 1969 and in 1999 he received a distinguished alumni award from the Department of Mathematics. He also earned a doctoral degree from Carnegie Mellon University in 1973.

In 1983, he co-founded ZS Associates. Today ZS Associates has more than 1,000 employees and assists Global 500 companies and industries throughout the world. He is also a professor emeritus of marketing at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. In 2005, he was inducted into the Chicago Entrepreneurship Hall of Fame. Also recognized at the Annual Dinner were President’s Council members who are supporting faculty endowments.

Vanessa Castagna, Robert W. and Irma Claire Race, and William and Diane Syfer were recognized for their gifts to the Purdue Department of Bands, naming a chaired professorship for the director of bands emeritus — the Al Wright Chair.

Ben and Maxine Miller were recognized for creating the Ben and Maxine Miller Professorship in Early Childhood Education. Also honored: Land O’Lakes was recognized for creating a faculty chair in the College of Agriculture. The company was represented by Lydia Botham, director of public relations, executive director of the Land O’Lakes Foundation.

PC Event Highlight


    1. PC members Robert Hannemann (right), visiting professor of biomedical engineering, and Eleanor Hannemann (second from left) with Alysa Christmas Rollock, vice president for ethics and compliance, and David Rollock, associate professor of psychological sciences and a 2012 Murphy Award winner, before the PC annual banquet last fall.

    2. PC Chair Jeannie Chaney and her husband, Jim, get a close-up look at gold and bronze Olympic medals won by former Purdue diver David Boudia. Boudia spoke at the PC Annual Dinner on campus Oct. 5, 2012. After winning the diving competition medals in London last summer, Boudia is now continuing his education at Purdue.

    3. (Left to right) Timothy Ratliff, the Robert Wallace Miller Director of the Purdue Center for Cancer Research; Alyssa Panitch, associate head and professor of biomedical engineering; and Philip Low, the Ralph C. Corley Distinguished Professor of Chemistry, discuss Purdue’s new Center for Drug Discovery at the PC Appreciation Dinner on Feb. 16 in Naples, Fla.

    4. Jeneé Christensen, a sophomore from Beavercreek, Ohio, studying civil engineering while serving in Air Force ROTC, hosts a PC event before the Purdue-Penn State football game last fall. A member of Purdue Foundation Student Board, she is among a new generation of alumni and philanthropists who will guide the future of the University.