Don K. Gentry - Doctor of Technology

May 2014  

Don K. Gentry

Don K. Gentry 
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Dr. Don K. Gentry retired after 26 years of service as a faculty member and administrator for Purdue University. He was the first director of the Purdue Statewide Technology Program; professor of industrial technology; and assistant and associate dean of the College of Technology. In 1987, he was appointed dean of the College of Technology, where he served for 14 years, growing the school to one of the largest of its kind in the nation. He was vice provost for engagement, creating the Office of Engagement to provide leadership for the university's outreach and engagement functions. In partial retirement, he administered several grant projects as a special assistant to the provost.

During his career, Gentry consulted with 17 states, U.S. Congress, federal agencies and foreign countries; served as president of four national professional organizations; and served on many national, state and local boards. He made numerous presentations at national forums and published more than 100 articles. Prior to joining Purdue, he was Indiana's executive officer and state director of vocational and technical education, state supervisor for vocational education programs, and a recognized high school vocational education teacher. 

Gentry grew up on a farm in Montgomery County, Indiana, and graduated from Waveland High School. He holds Bachelor and Master of Science degrees from Purdue University, a Doctorate of Education from Indiana University and an honorary doctorate from Vincennes University. He served in the U.S. Army Reserve.

Gentry has been recognized for over 50 years of service to the fields of education, economic and workforce development, including the National Award for Excellence in Engineering Technology Education. He was recognized by three Indiana governors, receiving two Sagamore of the Wabash awards and the Distinguished Hoosier Award for his work in the workforce education and economic development. He has received the Purdue President's Medal and a Distinguished Alumni Award from Purdue's Animal Sciences Department. 

He became the inaugural chair of the Board of Directors for Greater Lafayette Commerce after serving as transition manager and interim CEO, consolidating six economic and community development corporations. He currently chairs the Purdue University Retirees Association Benefits Committee, and is a member of the leadership team for Greater Lafayette Read to Succeed, an Elder at Faith Presbyterian Church in West Lafayette, and a member of Purdue's President's Council, Alumni Association, John Purdue Club, Technology Dean's Club, and Lafayette Rotary Club. 

Greatest memories at Purdue include: hosting President Reagan, flying with Neil Armstrong, serving as “Sire” with the Glee Club, Technology Student Council picnics, bowl games and dining with the Sheik of the United Arab Emirates. 

His real joy in life is his family: wife, Carol, children, Alynn, Alan and Andrew – all Purdue graduates – their spouses and his seven grandchildren. His hobbies are Purdue activities, traveling, genealogy, and volunteering.

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