May 14, 2019

Multimillion-dollar gift supports Purdue business analytics leadership

krenicki-donation.jpg (From left to right) Donna Krenicki, Karthik Kannan, David Hummels, John Krenicki. (Purdue University photo/Mark Simons) Download image

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University alumnus John Krenicki Jr. and his wife, Donna, have given a $5 million gift to a business analytics center in the Krannert School of Management. As a result, the Business and Information Analytics Center will now be known as the John and Donna Krenicki Center for Business Analytics and Machine Learning, pending Board of Trustees approval.

The Krenicki Center for Business Analytics and Machine Learning conducts research, student-led consulting projects, conferences and competitions. The gift from the Krenickis will be used to leverage additional support by corporate partners for the consulting services of the center, eventually providing a $10 million initiative.

“Our center connects businesses with Purdue researchers to find answers to data-driven business challenges,” said Karthik Kannan, the Thomas J. Howatt Chair in Management and director of the center. “We team faculty and graduate students from science, engineering, agriculture and management to utilize business data analytics to solve deep specialized problems.

“We are grateful to John and Donna for their support of the center, and we look forward to continuing our work in this important area.”

David Hummels, the Dr. Samuel R. Allen Dean of the Krannert School, says the center has already supplied answers to problems in manufacturing, health care and telecommunications, and is expanding rapidly to influence and assist a broad range of companies.

“We thank the Krenickis for their support of a center that is vital to our mission,” Hummels said. “All areas of Krannert have a strong interest in data-centric work.

“Data is a strategic asset in any organization. Those with significant investments in acquiring, managing and analyzing data to enhance decision making hold a competitive advantage. The Krenicki Center for Business Analytics and Machine Learning plays a large role in giving companies that edge, while providing a pipeline of future talent for their companies.”

John Krenicki earned an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Connecticut in 1984 and received an honorary doctorate in 2007. He received a master’s degree in management from Krannert Executive Education Programs in 1991 and was named a Krannert distinguished alumnus in 2013.

Krenicki is a senior operating partner with the private equity investment firm Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, an investment firm recognized for its commitment to operational excellence and improving the performance of the businesses in which the funds it manages invest. He serves as chairman of several of the firm’s portfolio investments, including Wilsonart International, Brand Industrial Services and Power Team Services and lead director of Cornerstone Building Brands. He also is an independent director of Devon Energy Corp. and a member of the National Petroleum Council.

Before joining Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, he spent 29 years at the General Electric Company. He is a former vice chairman of GE and former president and CEO of GE Energy. His responsibilities included oversight of GE’s Oil & Gas, Power and Water, and Energy Management businesses, which employed more than 100,000 people in over 165 countries and represented more than $50 billion in revenue. Before leading GE Energy, he was president and CEO of both GE Plastics and GE Transportation Systems, and he served as a director of GE Capital.

Donna Krenicki earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Connecticut in 1984 and has served on the UConn Foundation Board of Directors. She is a trustee of the Berkshire Museum in Massachusetts and a member of the UConn School of Fine Arts advisory board.

Their son, Michael Krenicki, is a 2019 Krannert MBA graduate and will join NextEra Energy this summer as a sourcing specialist. He earned a bachelor’s degree in earth systems science from the University of Michigan in 2015.

“This investment plays to Purdue’s strengths as a premier data-driven business school and STEM research institute,” said John Krenicki. “We are proud of the Purdue team and excited about the center’s future.” STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

The couple previously made major gifts to establish the John and Donna Krenicki Directorship of the Purdue Institute for Integrative Neuroscience and the Krenicki Family Directorship in Inflammation, Immunology and Infectious Disease. These institutes pursue research to alleviate suffering associated with trauma, disease or disorders of the brain and nervous system and the diagnosis and treatment of many of the world's most common diseases. They also funded the John and Donna Krenicki Chair in Operations Management in the Krannert School.

The John and Donna Krenicki Center for Business Analytics and Machine Learning is a partner with Purdue’s Integrated Data Science Initiative. The latest Krenicki gift is part of the university’s Ever True campaign.

Media contact: Joseph Paul, 765-494-9541, paul102@purdue.edu

Sources: Karthik Kannan, kkarthik@purdue.edu

David Hummels, krannertdean@purdue.edu

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