2005 Honorary Degree
Arnold C. Cooper
Arnold C. Cooper has distinguished himself as a world-renowned authority on entrepreneurship and as a professor in Purdue University's Krannert School of Management, a position from which he will retire later this spring.
Born in Chicago and raised in New Castle, Ind., Cooper has spent 50 years of his life in West Lafayette as an undergraduate, graduate student and the last 44 years as an associate professor and professor. He came to Purdue in the early 1950s and earned his bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering in 1955 and his master's degree in industrial administration in 1957.
After four years away from academia, including one in the U.S. Army and parts of two years each with Archer Daniels Midland as a chemical engineer and Procter & Gamble as a product researcher, Cooper returned to the classroom and earned his doctorate of business administration in 1962 from Harvard University, where he also served as an assistant professor.
He returned to Purdue in 1963 as an associate professor and has been a member of the faculty ever since, currently serving as the Louis A. Weil Jr., Professor of Management. He has held visiting faculty positions at Stanford University, Manchester Business School in England, the Management Development Institute in Switzerland and the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Cooper has consulted and been involved in executive development activities with several companies, including Great Lakes Chemical, State Farm Insurance, R.R. Donnelley & Sons, Arvin Industries, Inventure and Miles Laboratories. He also has served on several boards and committees dedicated to promoting entrepreneurship and small business development. He has authored or co-authored six books and more than 90 published articles on entrepreneurship, strategic management and the management of technology.
Cooper has earned numerous awards and honors for his work, including the 1997 International Award for Entrepreneurship and Small Business Research. The award carried a $50,000 cash prize, which he donated to the Krannert School to support student scholarships.