Old Masters program announces returning alumni

September 11, 2015  

Ten Old Masters will be returning to campus Nov. 8-10 to celebrate their successes and inspire current students. While on campus, Old Masters will participate in classroom talks, student organization receptions and social activities to create relationships with students.

An Old Master is an exceptional person who has made significant contributions to his or her own field and returns to his or her alma mater to share ideas and experiences with current Boilermakers. Each year, a group of twelve students known as the Central Committee evaluates hundreds of nominations in order to choose 10 deserving candidates.

The 2015 Old Masters are:

Michael Cave, BSE 1982, engineering management. Board member at Harley-Davidson, Ball Corp. and Aircastle Ltd.; retired senior vice president, The Boeing Co., and president of Boeing Capital Corp.

George Foyo, MS 1972, industrial engineering. executive vice president and chief administrator officer of Baptist Health South Florida.

Vern Hawkins, BS 1985, agronomy (crop and soil management). President, Syngenta Crop Protection, and Syngenta regional director, North America.

Capricia Marshall, BA 1986, political science and international studies. Former chief of protocol of the United States.

Bill Moreau, BS 1974, environmental sciences and journalism. Former Purdue trustee, 1991-2003; partner and chair of the Higher Education Practice Group, the law firm of Barnes and Thornburg.

David Omholt, BS 1992, economics; CEO, Entrepreneur Authority; CEO, Veteran Franchise Centers.

Venu Srinivasan, MS 1977, management; honorary Doctor of Management, 2014. Chairman and managing director of Sundaram Clayton Ltd.; chairman of TVS Motor Co.

Lorna Utley, BS 1976, management; MS 1976, industrial relations. President and CEO of Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit.

Julie Kramer White, BS 1990, aeronautical and astronautical engineering. Chief engineer, NASA Orion multi-purpose crew exploration vehicle.

Jane Brock Wilson, BS 1978, industrial management. Managing director at Berkshire Partners.

Anthony Cawdron, Honorary Old Master; Purdue University, Westwood house manager/event coordinator and adjunct professor of hospitality and tourism management.

Alongside this year’s ten Old Masters will be an Honorary Old Master. This is someone who did not necessarily attend Purdue University as a student, but has worked for the University and shares the same passion for mentoring students as the other Old Masters. During the program, the Honorary Old Master is escorted by promotional officers. Promotional officers are students that have stayed involved after serving as hosts for a past program.

Each Old Master is escorted around campus by a group of five student hosts. Students can be involved in the program by becoming a host.

Students and faculty are invited to request an Old Master for a classroom talk or organization reception by filling out a form on the Purdue Old Masters website. More information about this year’s Old Masters, the history of the program and involvement with the program is at the site.

A recent addition to the program is a convocation called Evening with the Old Masters, which allows the Old Masters to reach a large portion of the student body by answering questions submitted by the audience. This event is open to all of campus and will take place in Stewart Center's Loeb Playhouse at 5 p.m. Nov. 9.

Julia Swartzenberg, directing co-chair of the Old Masters Central Committee, says, “The Central Committee and program advisors are all very proud of the diverse mix of Old Masters that will be returning to campus this November.”

The Old Masters Program has been a Purdue University tradition since 1950, celebrating distinguished alumni while inspiring students to embody the value of the Boilermaker experience. The program aims to honor those who have achieved success in his or her own field. Past Old Masters have included Jim Miller, vice president of worldwide operations, Google Inc. (2012); Jack Calhoun, president of Banana Republic (2011); and Mitchell E. Daniels Jr., senior vice president for corporate strategy and policy, Eli Lilly & Co. (2000) and current Purdue president. 

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