Purdue University Northwest (PNW) has selected David A. Roberts as the first honoree to the university’s new PNW Alumni Hall of Fame.

Roberts, a 1974 graduate, will be inducted into the Alumni Hall of Fame during PNW’s Roaring Ahead Scholarship Gala on June 10. The gala event for nearly 600 people at the Hard Rock Casino Northern Indiana is the culmination of PNW’s yearlong 5-75 Roaring Ahead anniversary celebration of the fifth year of Purdue Northwest, and the 75th year of its legacy institutions, Purdue Calumet and Purdue North Central. Proceeds from the gala will go toward scholarships for PNW students.

PNW is establishing the Alumni Hall of Fame to honor alumni who are high-achieving leaders in their fields, involved members of their community, and those who have engaged with PNW well beyond their time as students. The university plans to issue a callout for nominations and induct a class into the Hall of Fame annually.

PNW says Roberts has been instrumental in supporting STEM education at PNW and developments that benefit the greater Northwest Indiana community. He recently committed $3 million to establish the PNW Impact Lab, which will provide opportunities for economic development, fostering innovation and entrepreneurship. 

PNW says his support led to the establishment of the David Roberts Center for Innovation and Design near the PNW campus in Hammond, which offers students a location to work as interdisciplinary teams within various engineering technology fields. He also provided support for PNW’s Commercialization and Manufacturing Excellence Center (CMEC) and has established faculty and student internships as well as employment opportunities.

During his career, Roberts held engineering, manufacturing, management and leadership roles across a variety of industries including automotive, office equipment, printing and management services. He retired in 2020 as CEO and chairman of the board of Carlisle Companies in Charlotte, N.C.

A Marine Corps veteran and native of Steger, Illinois, he earned his bachelor’s degree in Technology with distinction from the PNW Hammond campus, and his MBA from Indiana University.

PNW will issue the next callout for nominees to its Alumni Hall of Fame in fall 2022.