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Special 2021 Krannert Toast Honors Military Alumni

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Each year the Krannert community raises a glass to honor Herman and Ellnora Krannert, who in 1962 donated $2.73 million to establish the Krannert Graduate School of Industrial Administration. Pre-COVID 19, alumni from across the globe would gather in-person on the first Thursday of November for these “Krannert Global Toasts.” Like so many other things impacted by the pandemic, the Krannert Global Toast had to be reimagined to include a virtual Toast to keep our Krannert alumni connected in a safe way.

This year, Krannert  hosted a special virtual Toast on Veteran’s Day, November 11, to specifically honor the men and women who have dedicated part of their careers in service to  our country.

The evening began with a panel of Krannert alumni, all with rich military careers. The alumni and current students in attendance were “front row” for the panel discussion about lessons learned and the experiences lived while in the service. Attendees were then given the opportunity to ask questions of the panel and share their own insights.

Darrell Katovsich (BSIM ’75, MS ’77), an Army veteran who served 14 months in Vietnam, said, “The military taught me everything I used in my career. I just didn’t know it yet.”

Karie Linn (MBA ’18), a former Navy flight officer, shared that the most impactful leadership lesson she learned was to “talk less and listen more.” Jay Richardson (MBA ‘05), currently in the Navy Reserve, said that one of the most important lessons he’s taken from his experiences is that “if you are not taking care of your people, you have failed as a leader.”  

Sarah Ratekin, a Navy veteran and director of Krannert’s CareerBound program, moderated the panel discussion.

The panelists also talked about their reasons for continuing their education at Krannert. Katovsich said he almost dropped out of Purdue after attending a complicated calculus lecture. Luckily, a professor he admired convinced him to continue his education. Richardson described his experiences getting “to know these people as friends and learning their different cultural backgrounds that bring the Krannert family together.”

After the panel discussion, the veterans and attendees were broken out into smaller networking groups to continue the discussion and connect with each other one-on-one. The night ended as it always does – with a toast to Krannert. But this year, the alumni and students also raised their glasses in honor and with gratitude to all those who have served!