DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, has announced a $20 million gift from alumni Steve and Karen (Ogren) Sanger to establish a leadership development initiative.
The Sanger Leadership Initiative will bring together DePauw's established co-curricular centers — the Robert C. McDermond Center for Management and Entrepreneurship, the Eugene S. Pulliam Center for Contemporary Media, the Janet Prindle Institute for Ethics, the Kathryn F. Hubbard Center for Student Engagement, the Justin and Darrianne Christian Center for Diversity and Inclusion, the Tenzer Technology Center and Visualization Laboratory, the Hartman Center for Civic Education, and the 21st Century Musician Initiative — with the goal of making co-curricular leadership learning opportunities available to all students regardless of major or whether they are enrolled in a fellows program. The initiative also will support experiential programs that will teach leadership skills and enable students to apply them; bring a variety of leaders from the private sector to campus to speak and work with students; and establish and sustain connections to other universities, including post-graduate opportunities.
Steve Sanger graduated from DePauw in 1968, earned an MBA from the University of Michigan in 1970, and joined General Mills in 1974, later serving as chair and CEO of the company and leading it through the acquisition of Pillsbury before retiring in 2008. In 2009, Sanger received the Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service. Karen Ogren Sanger also graduated from DePauw in 1968 and then earned a Master of Arts in Teaching degree from Northwestern University in 1969 and a Juris Doctorate degree from William Mitchell College of Law in 1980. She has served DePauw as a member of the Washington C. DePauw Society executive committee and the university's board of visitors.
"What I learned at DePauw prepared me for everything that followed," said Ogren Sanger. "You don't stand on the sidelines at DePauw — you're in the middle of things and in a position to impact them. What we envision is deeper and more immersive leadership opportunities that touch every corner of the campus, and Steve and I are delighted to support this initiative, which will benefit our students, our campus, and our world."