Kellogg World Alumni Magazine, Summer 2001Kellogg School of Management
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Gifts from the heart
Kellogg's friends and alumni tout the rewards of supporting the school that nurtured their success

by Rebecca Lindell

The Jacobs Center  
2001 Jamie Padgett
The Donald P. Jacobs Center is a fitting tribute to Don Jacobs' 26-year tenure as dean. More than $8 million has been raised from alumni, friends and corporate donors for the facility. 

Few investments come with guarantees.

Given that, most Kellogg Graduate School of Management alums would agree that an investment in education is one of the safest bets one can make. Why else spend tens of thousands of dollars to obtain an MBA or any other degree?

Many Kellogg alums don't stop there, however. Even after they graduate, many continue to reinvest in the school that gave them their learning capital.

Scott Filstrup '67 is among them.

Filstrup remembers when Phil Kotler, then a rising star in Kellogg's Marketing Department, received one of the school's first endowed professorships, the Harold T. Martin Chair in Marketing, in 1973.

"I saw the benefits of that, and it was amazing," says Filstrup, a former student of Kotler's. "The chair enabled him to focus on what he does best -- teaching, writing and interacting with the students. He grew to become one of the premier marketing professors in the world, and the Martins helped make that possible."

Filstrup resolved that, at an appropriate time, he would make a significant financial reinvestment in the school. He saw the opportunity to contribute to the Dean's Technology Fund in 1999 with appreciated stock. Two years later, he and his wife, Margee, provided funding to name a study-group room in the new wing in the Donald P. Jacobs Center.

"Both Margee and I feel it's a real honor to do this," Filstrup says. "Ever since I graduated from Kellogg, I realized there were alums and others who had been very generous toward the school, and that they had created opportunities for me and other students to excel. I certainly wanted to do the same for Kellogg. We truly can make a positive impact."

Filstrup is in good company. Kellogg could not operate without the generosity of its friends and alumni, more than a quarter of whom contribute to the school each year, according to Development Director Liz Livingston Howard '93.

Why do they give to the Kellogg school when there are so many other institutions appealing for their philanthropic dollars? The reasons are as varied as the individuals who give. Some want to see Kellogg grow in a particular area. Others want to make new opportunities available to future generations of students. The strongest motivator, however, is pride.

"You really want to keep the tradition going, take Kellogg to the next level," Filstrup says. "You've got to keep evolving, progressing, innovating, staying on top."

He sees the study-group room contributing directly to that effort. "Students play such an important role at Kellogg, and this room will provide an atmosphere in which they can come up with neat ideas," Filstrup says. "It will be a significant place for them to create those concepts that will make Kellogg and themselves even better."

A great place for a real estate school

The desire to see Kellogg excel certainly was a motivating factor for William '59 and Kathryn "Lou" Guthrie '86, who donated funding several years ago to create the school's Guthrie Center for Real Estate Research.

The Guthries sought to strengthen Kellogg's real estate curriculum, as well as provide a continuing source of expertise for research and teaching in the field.

"From a real estate perspective, Chicago is a wonderful city," says Lou Guthrie. "Real estate development, rental and sales are very, very strong here. We have a great school, and it's a great place to have a real estate school."

Guthrie should know about the local real estate scene. She is a general partner in Guthrie Partners, through which the family owns and manages industrial warehouses and retail stores.

Kellogg is the logical place for the Guthries to focus their efforts. In addition to Lou and William, three other members of the family hold Kellogg degrees: son Bruce M. Guthrie '92 and daughters-in-law Grace Garvin Guthrie '86 and Christine McCarthy Guthrie '00. Not surprisingly, Lou Guthrie feels a strong connection to the school. "I like the people, I like the way the school is run and I like everything about it," she says.

Guthrie, a graduate of the Executive Master's Program, enrolled at Kellogg in mid-career. Her goal was to better understand the increasingly complicated federal taxation policies affecting her company. She left Kellogg with a host of additional business skills -- the ability to write a business plan, negotiation skills, and enhanced expertise as a manager.

"So much of what I learned, I have been able to apply," Guthrie says. "Kellogg was a fascinating experience for me, and I enjoyed it tremendously."

Guthrie hopes the Center for Real Estate Research will enrich the Kellogg experience for all students, particularly those interested in pursuing careers in real estate.

"We didn't create the center for ego reasons," Guthrie says. "We just really wanted to strengthen the real estate program. We'd like the young folks who go to Kellogg to get a good education in real estate. I'll feel very good about that."

©2001 Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University