The namesake of Trine University’s School of Business has made another contribution to the northeast Indiana institution. Ralph Ketner, a Trine graduate and co-founder of 1,300-location grocery chain Food Lion, has donated $1 million to set up the Ketner School of Business Endowment Fund.
Ketner received his accounting degree in 1939 from the school, then called Tri-State College and later Tri-State University. He started college at the age of 17 and completed his degree two years later.
Ketner co-founded Food Town in the mid-1950s. The chain later became Food Lion, which has hundreds of stores in the mid-Atlantic and Southeast. He has donated nearly $2 million to the business school, as well as hundreds of thousands of dollars to other Trine programs. The Ketner Sports Center in Hershey Hall on the Angola campus is also named for him.
In September, Ketner celebrated his 95th birthday.