Valparaiso University alumnus Michael “Mike” Gruszyk ’85 has generously committed $1.3 million to fund an endowed professorship and a scholarship in the College of Business. His gift will be divided between the Michael Gruszyk Endowed Professorship in Business and the Michael Gruszyk Endowed Scholarship Fund.
“I am fortunate to be in a position to give back to the university that gave so much to me,” Gruszyk said. “I attended the College of Business with a very specific career goal in mind, and the faculty helped make that a reality. They understood that my goal was to work in retail management for JC Penney and guided my academic progress toward achieving that goal.”
Gruszyk’s retail career extends almost 30 years. After graduating from Valpo’s College of Business with a bachelor of science in business administration and concentration in marketing, he worked in management positions with JC Penney for more than 15 years. Changes in the retail industry drove changes in the large department store chains, and he left JC Penney in 2000. Gruszyk then worked for Verizon Wireless for 13 years, opening new retail stores and serving as a regional operations manager.
In establishing the endowed professorship and scholarship, Gruszyk is giving back to his alma mater and investing in the kinds of resources that made his Valpo experience possible. The endowed scholarship will provide funds in perpetuity and ensure that future students benefit from valuable scholarship assistance. The endowed professorship salutes the important role that College of Business faculty played in Gruszyk’s Valpo education.
“There may be no greater validation of how Valpo has impacted their life as when our alumni give back in recognition of the education they received,” said Mark A. Heckler, Ph.D., president of Valparaiso University. “All of us are so grateful for Mike’s generosity in establishing these two endowed funds that will affect College of Business students and faculty for many years to come.”
Gruszyk’s commitment supports Forever Valpo: The Campaign for Our Future, a $250 million endowment campaign that will secure permanent resources for student scholarships, faculty development and programs that prepare students for lives of leadership and service. The Campaign was officially launched on Sept. 23, 2016, and has raised more than $200 million.