Governor announces changes to Purdue trustees
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Gov. Mitch Daniels on Friday (Aug. 13) named Gary J. Lehman to the Purdue University Board of Trustees to replace William Oesterle, who has resigned to focus more attention to his business.
Lehman, whose appointment is effective Saturday (Aug. 14), has served since 2003 as president and CEO of Fairfield Manufacturing Inc., the largest independent gear manufacturer in North America. He received his bachelor's degree in industrial management from the Krannert School of Management in 1974 and earned an MBA from Case Western Reserve University.
He co-founded The Cannelton Group, a consulting firm specializing in strategic and operational assistance to manufacturing companies. He also has served as president of Philips Lighting Electronics North America and has held senior positions with Federal Mogul, TRW, Deere and Co., and Allen Bradley.
Lehman and his wife, Purdue alumna Michele F. Lehman, are longtime benefactors of the university. The West Lafayette couple's gifts have benefited scholarships, Reading Recovery and the Krannert School of Management.
"It's an honor to be asked to serve this great university in this manner. My parents, my wife and two of our children are all Purdue grads, and this university has been a large part of my entire life," Lehman said. "Purdue has a great history, and it's humbling to be part of helping to assure it retains its outstanding reputation."
His civic engagements include serving as the 2008 campaign chairman for the United Way of Greater Lafayette, 2010 Vanguard committee chair and a member of the Lafayette Bank & Trust Regional Advisory Board. He is on the steering committee for Lafayette Weed and Seed, and his wife is on the subcommittee for Neighborhood Restoration & Vitalization. He also is a member of the Indiana Commission for Higher Education.
"Gary Lehman will be a great addition to the board. His business expertise combined with his exceptional civic leadership for Lafayette and West Lafayette will help us increase the excellence and engagement for which Purdue is known," said Purdue President France A. Córdova.
Trustee chairman Keith Krach praised Lehman's qualifications.
"Gary Lehman has been a fantastic alum and supporter of Purdue for many years, and he is intimately familiar with the university and our goals," Krach said. "As chief executive officer of Fairfield Manufacturing and a senior executive at several other companies, Gary will bring many of the same insights we will miss from Bill Oesterle."
Oesterle was appointed to serve as a trustee on July 1, 2005, replacing John Edwardson. He is one of the founders of Angie's List, has been on its board of managers since the company's inception in 1995 and now serves as the company's CEO.
"While I understand Bill Oesterle's decision to resign from the board of trustees, I regret that we will not have his input as we confront the challenges and opportunities that lie before us. Bill is deeply committed to Purdue's success and has always pushed us to think in innovative ways to achieve increased excellence in academics and operations," Córdova said. "He wanted us to be better faster. We will miss his energetic, incisive presence on the board and wish him well in meeting the demands of his business ventures."
Previously, Oesterle had been a partner with the venture capital firm CID Equity Partners, the director of corporate affairs for the Hudson Institute and the administrative assistant to Indiana Gov. Robert Orr. In 2004 he managed the "Mitch Daniels for Governor" campaign.
Oesterle earned an honors degree in economics from Purdue University in 1987 and earned an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1992, where he was awarded a Horace W. Goldsmith Fellowship.
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