DePauw lands $20M gift from former Wells Fargo chairman, wife

DePauw University has received a $20 million donation from 1968 graduates Steve and Karen Sanger to create a leadership program, the school announced Thursday.

Steve Sanger, 72, was most recently chairman of the board at Wells Fargo & Co. He stepped down this year after 15 years in the position.

Sanger previously spent 13 years as chairman and CEO of General Mills Corp., where he led the company through the $10.4 billion acquisition of Pillsbury in 2001. He’s also a director at Target Corp. and Pfizer Inc.

He graduated from DePauw with distinction and earned his MBA from the University of Michigan in 1970.

Karen Ogren Sanger graduated from DePauw with distinction and double majors in economics and English.  

She received a master’s degree in teaching from Northwestern University in 1969 and a law degree from William Mitchell College of Law in 1980.

The Sangers met while attending DePauw.

The new Sanger Leadership Initiative is expected to create numerous leadership opportunities at the Greencastle university, including a 4+1 program that will let students earn their master’s degree in one year after receiving their bachelor's degree.

It will also make co-curricular leadership learning opportunities available to all students, create experiential student programs, and bring a variety of leaders to campus to speak and work with students.

“DePauw is a place where people learn to lead,” DePauw President D. Mark McCoy said in written remarks. “The Leadership Initiative will ensure that today’s students will be exposed to even more tools and opportunities that will allow them to become the leaders the world needs.”

The Sangers also gave the University of Michigan a $20 million gift to start a leadership program there in 2015.

DePauw said it has now raised $354 million through the Campaign for DePauw, which it launched in October 2014

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