W. Wayne Booker Endowed Chair in Information Literacy

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In 2005, W. Wayne Booker (BS 1956) made a $2.5 million planned gift to endow the nation’s first known chair in information literacy, prominently positioning Purdue University nationally in the role information literacy plays in higher education.

Named the W. Wayne Booker Endowed Chair in Information Literacy, the gift bridged the worlds of libraries and information technology. At the time of his commitment, Wayne said he wanted to provide students with the ability to be lifelong learners and see critical thinking and communication skills increased in the United States and abroad. Wayne was a noted visionary who believed an outstanding library was the backbone of any great university.

In addition to his gifts to Purdue Libraries, Wayne took great pride in establishing corporate partnerships with Ford Motor Company in Purdue’s College of Engineering and the Krannert School of Management. He was helped secure nearly $15.4 million in donations during his lifetime. In addition, Wayne developed Purdue into one of Ford's biggest sources of college-educated employees. At the beginning of the millennium, more than 1,000 Purdue University graduates worked for Ford.

A Sullivan, Indiana native, Wayne graduated with a degree in economics. He contributed much of his success to the support he received from Purdue Libraries as a student. Wayne’s multitude of gifts reflected his faith in Purdue’s educational leadership for the 21st century and has provided a much-needed resource in today’s technological age.

Wayne was vice chairman of Ford Motor Company for more than 40 before his retirement in 2001. During his tenure, he established new international operations and joint ventures throughout the world and represented Ford at many international business associations. He served in Mexico, Brazil, Japan, and England, and is credited with establishing Ford’s presence worldwide, particularly in Turkey and Asia.

Wayne received an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Purdue in 2000 and received the President’s Council Distinguished Pinnacle Award in 2005 for the significant impact his generosity had on the university.

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