Tom Spurgeon '61

Mackey Renovations: Trustee gifts $3 million to project

It was recently announced a Board of Trustees member donated $3 million to the Mackey Arena expansion and renovation project.

1961 Purdue graduate and Board of Trustees member Tom Spurgeon donated $3 million to the project. Spurgeon, former president and CEO of Lincoln Office, remains a consultant for the company after selling the venture in 2001. As an entrepreneur, he also built several companies.

Spurgeon considers himself a Purdue supporter, not just a supporter of the Mackey renovations.

“It’s not just Mackey; it’s Purdue,” Spurgeon said.

Spurgeon was the lead donor of Purdue’s indoor golfing facility, which is named after him. In addition, Spurgeon has made donations to several other Purdue facilities. He also was a member of the steering committee, which was a part of Purdue’s campaign to raise $1.5 billion.

The Mackey renovation, which is scheduled to be complete before the start of 2011-2012 basketball season, will provide a complex with exceptional athletic and academic facilities. In addition, fan-seating and ticket offices will be improved.

“We are providing a learning center. They give a lot of time and practice, and they also need a place to study and are providing that,” Spurgeon said.

“We’re providing extra practice facilities. We’re providing extra weight-training. And all those things will enable us to be more competitive, but at the same time provide better facilities for the athletes.”

Bob Holloway, a 1948 Purdue graduate, also donated to the Mackey Project Tuesday in the form of $2 million. Over the weekend, five donors contributed $1 million each to the project as well.

Article appeared in the 1/23/08 issue of the Purdue Exponent.

Richard Miller '64

Ships Ahoy!: A Q&A with Richard Miller '64

This brief Q&A interview is part of an ongoing series designed to help us get to know our brothers better. If you know a brother you think would make a good profile candidate, please send his name and graduation year, along with your name and graduation year, to our alumni relations service: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Make sure to mention that it's for Fiji Purdue.

(Q) Why did you join Phi Delta Gamma?
(A) Now that is a broad question! I didn't want to go to college for four years and live in a dormitory. I wanted to be in a smaller, tighter knit group of fellows, so I investigated fraternities, and I thought Phi Delta Gamma was the best one. The fellows themselves seemed to be more intelligent, more knowledgeable. Just better guys.

(Q) What is your favorite memory?
(A) There is no one memory. Just a lot - A LOT - of fun, memorable experiences.

(Q) What kind of influence has the fraternity had on your life since graduation?
(A) I think the fraternity made me more self-confident, more assured that I could do things that I hadn't done before. It just made me a better, well-rounded, well-spoken person. I was an officer my senior year, the corresponding secretary. And I'm glad I did that, because I assumed that since I was the corresponding secretary, I would be corresponding after I graduated. So, I started putting together an annual class newsletter. That was in 1965, before Xerox and photocopiers had been heard of. So when I went to mail these letters, they had to be retyped on mimeograph - I conned my secretary into doing them. Nowadays, all my class is on e-mail, and I have a broadcast code set up, so by pressing one button, I can send them to the whole class! Every five years, when we have a reunion, we get together at Homecoming at Purdue and see each other. We don't do the newsletter during those years.

(Q) With whom do you stay in contact? And is there anyone with whom you've lost touch that you would like to find?
(A) I'm pretty much in contact with my whole class. But recently, I did go on a cruise with several brothers and their wives. The story behind the cruise is this. Purdue went to the Rose Bowl about three years ago, and there were probably seven of my brothers and wives who went to that Rose Bowl. But there were five of us that got together in a restaurant after the game. We yucked it up, had a great time and made a lot of noise! Well, one wife said, "You guys have such a good time when you get together, you should consider getting together and going on a cruise." Nothing more was said at that time. But I thought about that later and e-mailed a note to everybody asking who might be interested in doing that. So, seven guys came back and said they'd like to. My travel agent in Chicago put together a trip. It's funny; I thought the toughest part of planning it would be finding a time and place that everyone would agree to. But it wasn't. The hardest part was deciding whether we would eat at the early or the late sitting at dinner! We went on the cruise this past March to the Mexican Riviera. We left out of San Diego, went down the Mexican coast and back to San Diego. It was seven days, and we just had a ball! The group who went includes Jerry Bean '64, Ailbe Burke '65, Bob Swinehart '65, Greg Hales '64, Jerry Lyles '64 and Fred Schramm '64 and their wives. We were all in the same class. A cruise is fun and being with all the people from your own class just makes it more fun. It comes with a high recommendation!

(Q) What other activities did you enjoy in college?
(A) I was on the Junior Board of the Student Union. That was really my only other activity, as I didn't go in for sports.

(Q) Did you live in the house? If so, who were your roommates? Tell us about a memorable time with them.
Yes, and my roommates were Jim Deible '65, Bob Swinehart, John Zaloudek '64, Bill Brock '64, Ed Jones '65 and Don Storner '63. We had new roommates every semester. It was a nice way to get to know different men in the house. It's really the only way to do it. I remember Gordon Teter '66 who was two years behind me and was one of the halfbacks on the football team. Teter was the guy who went on to become president of Wendy's. He had a photographic memory and was in a biology class with my roommate. When they would get together to study for a test, they would ask each other questions, but they wouldn't ask Gordon Teter, because he knew everything. But when they got stuck, they could turn to him and he would tell them the page and column the answer was on. He was like a book for knowing things, but when it came to applying the information, he was no better than anyone else.

Another time that I remember, we had a go-kart race, the Purdue Annual Grand Prix on campus. In order to start the go-kart, we had a can of starting fluid that was really ether, which is extremely flammable. So one guy with no brains thought it was funny to put ether in his Zippo lighter. So when he lit it, he got a flame about a foot tall. He brought it in our room one night and lit it. Everyone was impressed, until it got hot and he couldn't close it. Then he dropped it on our nylon rug. So to keep it from catching the rug on fire, we kept kicking it around, until it went under a chair. Finally, we threw the chair over and kicked the lighter into the hallway. Nobody was killed, but I could have killed the guy who brought it into our room.

Tell us about your family.
I was never married. I am still a bachelor. I am from Dayton, Ohio, went to Purdue and came back to Ohio.

What do you do for a living?
My undergraduate degree was in mechanical engineering, and my graduate degree was in business administration, so I went to work for Owens Corning Fiberglass, as an engineer. This is strange. I was working as an engineer in the engineering department, but most of what I used was the business administration because I was a project manager. I had to manage and supervise other engineers, so I had to know about accounting, budget management, schedules, contracting – a lot of administration rather than engineering. I worked there for 31 years. I am now retired.

What hobbies do you enjoy?
I play golf.

What are your goals for the next few years?
I want to make a hole in one! Even though I live in Columbus, Ohio, I play about 11 months out of the year.

Brothers who want to get in contact can e-mail Richard at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Bob Schultz '63

Singing on Mother's Day is Schultzy's (Bob Schultz '63) Favorite Fiji Memory

This brief Q&A interview is part of an ongoing series designed to help us get to know our brothers better. If you know a brother you think would make a good profile subject, please send his name and graduation year, along with your name and grad year to our alumni relations service: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Make sure to mention that it's for Fiji Purdue.

(Q) Why did you join Fiji?
(A) After having lived in a dorm for the first semester of my freshman year, and having met and hung around with two neat guys from Elmhurst, Ill., neither of which was my roommate, I decided, along with them, to go through second semester rush. Having done that, and having met a number of fellow rushees at the house, when offered the opportunity to join Phi Gamma Delta, I decided that this group of guys seemed best suited for me. I was not wrong!

(Q) What is your favorite memory of the fraternity?
(A) Although there are many, I believe that the most memorable was when on Mother's Day weekend, after we had turned the house over to our moms, we participated in the University Sing. We had a great group of singers in the house at that time from all classes, and we had worked extremely hard as a team on our songs. I don't believe that our house had ever made it to finals before, and our expectations were not that high at this time either. Well, we made finals, and to our moms' surprise, and ours as well, we wound up scrambling all over campus to find tuxes for the final performance. Although we didn't win, we demonstrated how strong our whole house, all brothers, was in this total team effort. I know that this event was one of the highlights of our year then and a memory that my mom shared with many of her friends and relatives 'til her passing several years ago. A treasured memory!

(Q) What kind of influence has the fraternity had on your life since graduation?
(A) The action of the actives while I was a pledge along with my pledge brothers, encouraging us to become a team and function as one, helped me become stronger working with others, as well as strengthening my own ability to stand on my own two feet during times of adversity. House government also allowed me to serve in a cabinet capacity, allowing me to demonstrate my leadership abilities.

(Q) With whom are you still in touch?
(A) Recently, through the reunion held at the 100-year celebration in September 2002, I was able to reunite with several of my brothers from not only my class, but from classes before and after mine. I do believe that I have found most of those that I was closest with, and hope that we'll get back together again - sooner than 20 years, as it had been in the past.

(Q) Tell us about your family.
(A) I am married for the second time, having lost my first wife approximately 10 years ago. My second wife, Marcia, has a son, Tim, from a prior marriage, and I have three sons - Jim, Rick and Rob - from my first marriage.

(Q) What other activities were you involved with in school?
(A) I was recording secretary for our class and worked for three years as part of the kitchen crew. This, along with sports, kept me busy.

(Q) What was your nickname?
(A) Schultzy. Need I say more?

(Q) Did you live in the house?
(A) Yes, I did live in the house. I had numerous roommates and many memorable times.

(Q) What do you do for a living?
(A) I am a residential real estate consultant with Koenig & Strey-GMAC, Gurnee, Ill. I am licensed in both Illinois and Wisconsin, as Gurnee is only five miles from the state line.

(Q) What organizations are you affiliated with in your community?
(A) I am a member of the Purdue Club of Milwaukee and the Purdue Club of Chicago, having been a past president of the Milwaukee club three times. Currently, I am secretary of the Exchange Club of Gurnee, a national service club working toward the prevention of child abuse.

What hobbies do you enjoy?
Playing cards, golf, travel

What are your goals for the next few years?
To continue to work in residential real estate and, eventually, retire. I do want to travel to Scotland to see my oldest son.

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