Purdue News

August 16, 2005

Community leaders give $45.7 million to Campaign for Purdue

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Purdue University officials will announce today (Tuesday, Aug. 16) that Lafayette and West Lafayette community leaders have contributed $45.7 million to the $1.5 billion Campaign for Purdue.

Connie Basham (L), Dennis Savaiano (C), John Basham (R)
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President Martin C. Jischke will announce the completion of the campaign's community phase at Chamber Business After Hours with local executives at Purdue's Dick and Sandy Dauch Alumni Center.

"When we combine gifts from community and campus leaders, the total is a remarkable $90 million to the Campaign for Purdue," Jischke said. "This generosity clearly demonstrates how these two great cities are coming together to work with our world-class university to create one great community to live in."

The following contributors will be recognized during Chamber Business After Hours:

• John and Connie Basham of Lafayette have given a gift of $2.06 million for the Dennis J. and Mary Lou Schwartz Tennis Center and various scholarship endowments.

The Bashams are giving $500,000 to the tennis center over a period of years. The facility's indoor courts will bear their names.

A $1.5 million deferred gift from the couple will fund three scholarship endowments: $500,000 each to Child Development and Family Studies in the College of Consumer and Family Sciences, intercollegiate athletics, and the School of Nursing. The Bashams will be recognized as members of the R.B. Stewart Society, which honors those who have given deferred gifts. Also, a $60,000 contribution will be used to establish the three scholarship endowments this year.

The Bashams own Basham Rentals, which lease apartments primarily to Purdue students.

John Basham retired from Eli Lilly and Co. and is a director of Lafayette Community Bank. He is a lifelong resident of the Lafayette-West Lafayette area.

He said he got to know and love the campus as a child when, to earn extra money, his family would do washing and ironing for residents around Purdue.

"I wasn't born with a silver spoon in my mouth," he said. "But now that I have something to give back, I want to support Purdue because this is where our roots are. My heart's always been with the Boilermakers, and we want to support this university community, which has always been so good to us."

Connie Basham attended Purdue University and also is a lifelong resident. She served on the Tippecanoe County Council from 1997 to 2004, and ran in 2004 for state representative. She has been active in the Association of Indiana Counties, the Indiana Association of County Councils (serving as president in 2004), Republican Women's Club, the Tippecanoe County Extension Board and Indiana Farm Bureau. She also has been a member of community boards and committees, including the Lafayette-West Lafayette Chamber of Commerce, the Friends of Cary Home for Children and the Tippecanoe County Parks Foundation.

Both John and Connie Basham have been active supporters of 4-H programs for many years. They are on the organizing committee for the Colt World Series and have been host parents since 1989.

"Our rental business deals almost exclusively with Purdue students," she said. "Were it not for our business association with Purdue students, our gift wouldn't be possible."

The Bashams said their interest in Purdue athletics prompted their gift in that area, and they decided to support the tennis center because of its wide appeal.

"The facility is used by not only Purdue people but others in the area, and we thought it would be a nice gift to the community," Connie Basham said.

She said their decision to fund a scholarship endowment in nursing stems from the interaction they've had with members of the health-care community when caring for their aging parents.

"We know that the lack of nurses is a real problem, and we wanted to do what we can to support students who have a real desire to help others."

She said they wanted to support students in child development programs because it's been a long-standing personal concern.

"I've always had a real concern for children – how they are cared for and taught. That's been my passion."

• Tate & Lyle, a London-based food and industrial ingredients company with two corn-processing plants in Lafayette, has contributed nearly $200,000 to the Campaign for Purdue through a series of gifts.

Tate & Lyle gave $100,000 for the establishment of a food carbohydrate laboratory in the Department of Food Science in the College of Agriculture.

The laboratory, built in conjunction with the food science building, allows the study of the chemical structure and functional properties of starches. Starch is a major byproduct of corn, which Tate & Lyle processes. Starch also is a common ingredient in a wide variety of foods, so studying its characteristics can have a major impact on the food supply.

Tate & Lyle also is one of several companies that contributes $35,000 a year to Purdue's Whistler Center for Carbohydrate Research.

In addition, Tate & Lyle has supported Purdue agricultural alumni activities, projects in the Krannert School of Management and the College of Engineering, and has contributed to the President's Fund.

About 60 Purdue graduates currently are employed at the two Tate & Lyle plants in Lafayette as chemists, engineers and in other positions.

J. Michele Lehman

• Gary J. Lehman and J. Michele Lehman of West Lafayette will be recognized for their support of the campaign through contributions to the Krannert School of Management and the College of Education's Reading Recovery program.

Gary Lehman received a bachelor's degree from Krannert in 1974. He is the president and CEO of Fairfield Manufacturing Co. Inc. in Lafayette.

Gary J. Lehman

Last month, he contributed to the dean's discretionary fund for Krannert, which will be used to support a wide variety of programs in the school.

"I feel very positive about the direction Krannert is heading under Dean Richard Cosier's leadership," Gary Lehman said. "This excellence is demonstrated in the school's No. 1 ranking by the Wall Street Journal. I am fully confident that the dean will use this contribution to help meet the goals he has set forth for the school."

Gary Lehman said he was inspired to give through his connection with Fairfield because the company's founder, David Ross, was an 1893 Purdue graduate. Also, when Fairfield underwent financial problems in the last couple of years that threatened to close the company, Lehman sought the assistance of Purdue experts to help save the company that had been in the Lafayette community since 1919.

"Since Fairfield had a long, well-established association with Purdue, we were able to use the tremendous talent that the university has at its disposal," he said. "We utilized students and faculty in Purdue's Technical Assistance Program, strategic planning experts in Krannert, as well as a variety of other areas, such as graphic arts and marketing.

"The expertise we received from Purdue helped pull Fairfield through a very hard time. We couldn't have done it alone."

Michele Lehman graduated from Purdue's College of Liberal Arts in 1974 with a bachelor's degree in elementary education.

A former first-grade teacher in Lafayette, she was inspired to make her first contribution in her name only after attending a Women of Purdue meeting in April. The group, whose members discuss opportunities for philanthropy, is a subgroup of the Campaign for Purdue Steering Committee.

"When I heard College of Education Dean George Hynd and development director Jennifer Jeffries speak about the needs of the Reading Recovery program, I knew this would be a great opportunity for me to give back to a great university," she said.

Reading Recovery, part of the Purdue Literacy Network Project, is a program that provides short-term, one-on-one tutoring for low-achieving first-graders to improve their reading ability.

• John A. and Jan E. Knote, West Lafayette, have given a deferred gift of $310,000 to the campaign to fund a scholarship for students in intercollegiate athletics. The Knotes' total giving to the community campaign is $380,814.

The Knotes' gift will establish an endowment that will be named the Knote Family Athletic Scholarship in memory of his parents, Raymond, a 1933 Purdue graduate, and Margaret Knote. The Knotes will be recognized as members of the R.B. Stewart Society.

John Knote is a 1959 College of Liberal Arts graduate, receiving his bachelor's degree in physical and recreation education. While a student at Purdue, he was manager of the football team for two years and during his senior year was Purdue Pete, a Purdue athletics mascot.

He is a radiologist at Indiana Radiology Partners in Indianapolis. Jan is a retired physical therapist for Greater Lafayette Health Services Inc. in Lafayette.

"I wanted to support Purdue athletic programs because I have a lifetime interest in physical education," he said. "I grew up near Kokomo and have been attending Purdue games since I was 10 years old. I've known a lot of people in the athletic programs through the years and have been interested and involved in these programs since I was a student at Purdue. It was a wonderful opportunity for Jan and me to give back to a program that does so much for Purdue and the community."

Writer: Kim Medaris, (765) 494-6998, kmedaris@purdue.edu

Sources: Murray Blackwelder, senior vice president for advancement, (765) 496-2144, mblackwelder@purdue.edu

Cheryl Altinkemer, senior director of development in charge of community campaign, (765) 494-8218, caltinkemer@purdue.edu

Douglas Mayo, (765) 494-8672, agriculture advancement office, dmayo@purdue.edu

Greg Kapp, university development office, (765) 494-9888, gkapp@purdue.edu

Gordon Chavers, (765) 494-2730, general counsel university development office, gchavers@purdue.edu

Julie Novak, head of School of Nursing, (765) 494-6644, novakj@purdue.edu

Dennis Savaiano, dean of the College of Consumer and Family Sciences, (765) 494-8213, savaiano@purdue.edu

Chris Olsen, director of governmental and community relations for Tate & Lyle's North American operations, (217) 421-2804, chris.olsen@tateandlyle.com

Suzanne Nielsen, head of the Department of Food Science, (765) 494-8256, nielsens@purdue.edu

Maribeth Schmitt, director of the Purdue Literacy Network Project, (765) 494-5683, mschmitt@purdue.edu

Morgan Burke, intercollegiate athletic director, (765) 494-3189, mjb@purdue.edu

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu


Note to Journalists: Journalists are invited to attend Chamber Business After Hours from 5-7 p.m. Tuesday (Aug. 16) at Purdue's Dick and Sandy Dauch Alumni Center. Please contact Kim Medaris, Purdue News Service, (765) 494-6998, for more information.

Related release:
Community Campaign for Purdue helps 18 nonprofits


Dennis Savaiano, middle, dean of Purdue's School of Consumer and Family Sciences, stands with Connie Basham, left, and John Basham during Chamber Business After Hours at the Dick and Sandy Dauch Alumni Center Tuesday, Aug. 16. The Bashams were honored at the event for their gift of $2.06 million to the community portion of the Campaign for Purdue. A $1.5 million deferred gift from the couple will fund three scholarship endowments, including a $500,000 scholarship for child development and family studies in the College of Consumer and Family Sciences. (Purdue University photo/Vince Walter)


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