and Kathryn Guthrie built an impressive real-estate firm.
They and their family also forged strong Kellogg loyalties.
family creates 'real' legacy with Kellogg research center
who had earned an undergraduate degree in math from Northwestern
University, wanted to work in business, but companies didn't
seem to be hiring women managers at the time. So she worked
for a while as a schoolteacher, but the desire to own and
run something did not go away.
day Lou told her husband that she thought they should buy
an apartment building. "That's the dumbest idea I ever
heard!" Bill responded. But Lou won the day, and the
couple made their first real-estate investment in Evanston.
"Of course, that turned out to be the smartest thing
we ever did," Bill says today.
That apartment building was the first of many real-estate
investments for the Guthries, who, as Winnetka, Ill.-based
Guthrie Partners L.P., continue to buy and sell commercial
properties across the nation. Their current holdings include
properties in suburban Chicago, Indiana, Colorado and Minnesota.
many years, though, real estate was just a side business for
the Guthries, albeit an increasingly profitable and fascinating
one. Bill, who had been an engineering undergrad at Northwestern,
worked as a management consultant and earned an MBA through
the Kellogg part-time program. Lou, meanwhile, raised the
couple's two children and kept the books for the business.
the mid-1980s, Lou decided that it was time for her to get
some formal business training too. She had heard good things
about the Kellogg Executive MBA Program. She enrolled in 1984
and dove joyfully into the curriculum.
could write all my papers in relation to our real-estate business,
and set up our plans for the future," she recalls. "It
was the luxury of my life."
Guthries' eldest son, Bruce Guthrie '92, also earned
his MBA at Kellogg, as did his late wife, Grace Garvin
Guthrie '86. Bruce, during his summer internship between
his two years at Kellogg, founded a summer adventure program
for incoming students. The program, now known as Kellogg Worldwide
Experiences and Service Trips, or KWEST, draws about 500 participants
annually. In 2000, another daughter-in-law, Christine,
marched across the stage to accept her diploma from then-dean
P. Jacobs while cradling the Guthries' five-week-old twin
grandsons in her arms.
for the education the family received from Kellogg, the Guthries
looked for opportunities to give back. The couple considered
endowing a chair in the real estate program. But Jacobs had
another suggestion that would magnify the impact of the gift:
additional funding to strengthen the school's real-estate
felt that real estate would be a much more important sector
of the economy in years to come," Jacobs says. "We
wanted Kellogg to be a leader in the field." The center
was renamed in 1995 in honor of the Guthries' gift.
Center for Real Estate Research leads studies on real
estate markets, finance, project management and development.
It supports an executive speaker series and helps Kellogg
students find summer and full-time jobs in the real-estate
field. It also participates in an annual Kellogg conference
that serves as a forum on real-estate issues and trends.
center has given the Guthries the chance to stay engaged with
Kellogg students, who clearly continue to inspire the couple.
Bill enjoys meeting with students in small groups over lunch,
while Lou has served as a mentor to Kellogg real-estate majors.
wonderful and enthusiastic young people," Lou enthuses.
I like is the creativity that emerges when they work together
in a group," Bill adds. "They just have marvelously