updated: 4/6/2011 7:55:19 AM
A longtime businessman and supporter of the University of Evansville has passed away. John Schroeder was a member of the university's Board of Trustees, and the business school bears his family's name. He founded three companies and held leadership roles with Old National Bank, Evansville Federal Savings Bank and Southern Indiana Gas and Electric Co. Schroeder was 90-years-old.
April 5, 2011
(Evansville, Ind.) - The University of Evansville is saddened by the news that John H. Schroeder, a life member of the UE Board of Trustees and lifelong friend to the University, has passed away. He was 90.
Over the last six decades, the life and legacy of John H. Schroeder has played an increasingly central role in shaping the University of Evansville; today, it is impossible to overlook the contributions he has made to our campus. From his work in championing UE’s relationship with Harlaxton College, to his role in comforting and steering a campus devastated by the tragic loss if its basketball team, all the way up through his support of the business school that now bears his name, John H. Schroeder was among the greatest champions the University of Evansville has ever seen.
A pioneer in many aspects, Mr. Schroeder’s professional career included a leadership role in establishing Evansville as the plastics capital of the country; but while doing so, he never lost sight of the philanthropic spirit instilled in him by his father at a young age.
The businessman and civic leader received his A.B. from Wabash College in 1942, and his M.B.A. from the Harvard School of Business Administration in 1947. After graduation he became the founder of three companies: Crescent Plastics, Inc., Cresline Plastic Pipe Co. Inc. and Wabash Plastic Inc.
Mr. Schroeder’s successful business career eventually led him to be the director of Old National Bancorp, and to take on leadership roles with Old National Bank, Evansville Federal Savings Bank, Southern Indiana Gas and Electric Company, Welborn Hospital, and the Society of Plastics Industry.
Mr. Schroeder’s relationship with the University of Evansville began in 1955, when he joined the building committee for the University Clifford Memorial Library at Evansville College. The construction of the library was the primary indication of the University’s shift from a smaller, commuter-based college to the fully residential and internationally diverse campus that it is today. In 1964, Mr. Schroeder joined the UE Board of Trustees. While serving on the Board, he was one of the first trustees interested in pursuing the acquisition of Harlaxton College, UE’s campus in Grantham, England. Mr. Schroeder fully supported then-president Wallace B. Graves attempting to acquire the 100- room Victorian manor and the 100 acres of land surrounding the college. Mr. Schroeder’s leadership was also displayed after the UE plane crash in December 1977 when, as chairman of the Board of Trustees he helped the school and community to remain strong and rebuild after such a devastating loss.
As one of the top five benefactors in the history of the University of Evansville, it came as no surprise that Mr. Schroeder agreed to lead UE’s the Widening the Circle Capital Campaign – a campaign that went on to be one of the University’s most successful fundraising campaigns to date, which has provided the framework for campaigns since. He also was a driving force behind the University’s largest capital campaign, the recently-completed U Envision 2010, as a member of the steering committee. His personal solicitation of gifts and the philanthropic example which he set for other community leaders to follow is still evident at the University today.
Mr. Schroeder’s most recent gift to the university was the Schroeder Family School of Business building, a state-of-the-art facility that has received national attention and will be instrumental in attracting world- class talent and scholarship to Evansville.
Perhaps most notable, however, was Mr. Schroeder’s preference to remain “behind the scenes” with all the projects he was involved with (including those he led). Often escaping the recognition he deserved, it seems that he was never concerned with fame or the applause of others. In spite of that, few in the Evansville area are better known for their community service. Over the years, Mr. Schroeder served as president of United Fund of Southwestern Indiana Inc., The Vanderburgh County Society for Crippled Children, Goodwill Industries, Evansville Rotary Club, and director for the Evansville Chamber of Commerce and the Evansville Museum of Arts and Sciences.
John H. Schroeder and the legacy he has left behind will forever be a part of both the city and the University of Evansville.
Source: University of Evansville
(Crawfordsville, Ind.) - All at Wabash College mourn the loss of devoted alumnus and long-time Trustee John H. Schroeder ’42, who passed away Monday. He was 90 years old.
He is survived by his wife, Ginny, and two sons, John C. ’69 and Richard, and their families.
Visitation will be Thursday, April 7 from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Alexander’s Funeral Home (East Side) at 2115 Lincoln Avenue in Evansville, Indiana 47714. The funeral service will be at Neu Chapel on the University of Evansville campus, beginning at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, April 8. (Please note that Evansville is on Central Daylight Time.)
“John H. Schroeder was a great Wabash man, a loyal son whose family has meant so much to Wabash,” said President Patrick White. “He served on the Board of Trustees from 1982 to 1994 and as an Emeritus Trustee since then. The Schroeder Center for Career Development and the endowed John H. Schroeder Interdisciplinary Chair in Economics, currently held by Dr. Keoloha Widdows, are two outward signs of John's love and commitment to Wabash and the place he will hold forever in our hearts.”
Schroeder was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Wabash who majored in economics with a minor in history. At Wabash, he served as president of Phi Gamma Delta and the Board of Publications, and was a member of Blue Key and a writer for The Bachelor. He received an M.B.A. from the Harvard University of Business School.
John founded three companies — Crescent Plastics Inc., Cresline Plastic Pipe Company, Inc., and Wabash Plastics, Inc. Cresline is one of the largest plastic pipe and fittings manufacturers in the United States.
In 1989, Wabash awarded John an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree, and in 1992 the National Association of Wabash Men presented him an Alumni Award of Merit. In 1991, he was inducted in The Indiana Academy for his professional and civic leadership.
In addition to his love of Wabash, John also served as Treasurer and Chairman of the Board of the University of Evansville, and later helped guide the university through the aftermath of a terrible plane crash that killed every member and coach of the university’s basketball team. He received the university’s highest distinction, the Medal of Honor, in 1981, and he was granted an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.
With other members of his family, John established the Schroeder Family School of Business Administration at the University of Evansville. The school’s mission is to provide a life-transforming, high quality, innovative business education within a liberal arts and sciences framework.
Schroeder was a member and served on the board of the Washington Avenue Presbyterian Church. He was also president of the United Fund of Southwestern Indiana, the Vanderburgh County Society for Crippled Children and Adults, the Vanderburgh County Tuberculosis and Respiratory Disease Association, Goodwill Industries, and the Rotary Club. He also served as a board member of Old National Bank, Evansville Federal Savings and Loan
Source: Wabash College