The Valparaiso University men’s basketball program has received a significant boost to its recruiting efforts from the generosity of Jan Sievers ’59 Schrage and Paul Schrage ’57. The couple has committed $2 million to establish the Paul D. and Janet C. Schrage Endowed Recruitment Fund for Men’s Basketball. When fully funded, the endowment will provide a permanent source of support for the program’s recruiting activities.
“We are extremely blessed to have Mr. and Mrs. Schrage as supporters and friends of Valpo basketball,” said men’s basketball head coach Bryce Drew. “My family and I have been close to them for many years, and their long-term support of the program has been a key to our success. We are grateful for their continued support with this most recent gift, which will allow us to be competitive at a higher level with our recruiting activities as we strive to maintain a standard of excellence moving forward.”
The Schrages are long-time benefactors to the University and strong supporters of Valpo basketball. They funded the Schrage Basketball Wing addition to the Athletics–Recreation Center, which houses the men’s and women’s basketball offices. They also established the Paul and Janet Schrage Endowment to provide ongoing support for the facility.
“The long and proud history of Valpo basketball has been strongly influenced by the Drew family,” said Paul Schrage. “They instill everything that Valparaiso University represents and have been a great inspiration to Jan and me as we considered our gift. A university is a complex institution and many parts must fit together to make it strong. We hope that our support of the basketball program will help make it even stronger and continue to have a positive impact on the entire University community.”
Paul Schrage earned a bachelor of arts in business administration from Valparaiso University, a master of science in advertising from the University of Illinois and an honorary juris doctor from Valpo. He served on the Valparaiso University Board of Directors from 1996–2004 and from 2009–2015, as well as serving on the Campaign Executive Committee for the University’s upcoming campaign, which is currently in the leadership gift phase.
Schrage’s 30-year career with the McDonald’s Corporation began in 1967 when Ray Kroc hired him to start the marketing department. By the time he retired in 1997, as senior executive vice president and chief marketing officer of McDonald’s Corporation and a member of its board of directors, he had made McDonald’s one of the most powerful brands in the world. In recognition of his career, Schrage was inducted into the American Advertising Hall of Fame in 1997. He is also a lifetime trustee and former chair of the Ronald McDonald House Charities Board of Directors.