Press Release - March 14, 2023
Anne Divita Kopacz
Follett Family Leaders Commit $2M to Family Business Education at Loyola University Chicago
CHICAGO – March 14, 2023
Loyola University Chicago announced today that the families behind the success of the Follett Corporation are continuing their commitment to family-owned businesses and the power of education through a $2 million gift to the University.
The gift from Bob Follett and Dick Litzsinger will support family business education through Loyola’s Family Business Center and the creation of the Follett Collection of family business papers within the University Libraries’ University Archives and Special Collections. The gift also creates a Follett Fellowship dedicated to telling the stories of family businesses.
“We were hoping to in some way carry on the Follett name to other future family companies,” says Litzsinger, former president and CEO of the Follett Corporation. “Loyola has created the opportunity for family businesses to get together and learn from one another. Our hope is to be able to help facilitate that because family businesses play an extremely important role in our total economic package.”
Michael Behnam, dean of Loyola’s Quinlan School of Business, which houses the Family Business Center, sees the gift as a natural extension of the Follett family legacy.
“This investment will forever tie the Follett name to excellence in family business education,” he said. “Thank you to Bob, Dick, and your families for making an investment that will benefit countless future generations of family businesses, as well as students at Loyola and around the country.”
Jill McCall, director of the Family Business Center, added, “It is an honor to continue the Follett legacy through family business storytelling and education. I have no doubt that their gift will help elevate family businesses in the eyes of society and encourage future generations of students to seek out opportunities to work within them.”
The Follett story will be documented by the first Follett Fellow, Katherine Sredl, PhD, a marketing lecturer at the Quinlan School of Business. Sredl is very familiar with family business, as she served for 25 years on the board of directors of her family’s business, a computer numerically controlled (CNC) machine shop. She also has extensive experience in multimedia storytelling and has honed these skills through her teaching, academic publications, and her digital marketing consulting business.
“Family businesses like the Follett Corporation have such a unique success story to tell as they must navigate the joys and stresses of family and business together,” says Sredl. “I am thrilled to tell the Follett story and build knowledge around family business.”
About Loyola University Chicago
Founded in 1870, Loyola University Chicago is one of the nation’s largest Jesuit, Catholic universities, with nearly 17,500 students. The University has four campuses: three in the greater Chicago area and one in Rome, Italy, as well as course locations in Vernon Hills, Illinois (Cuneo Mansion and Gardens), and a Retreat and Ecology Campus in Woodstock, Illinois. The University features 15 schools, colleges, and institutes. Ranked a top national university by U.S. News & World Report, Loyola is also among a select group of universities recognized for community service and engagement by prestigious national organizations including AmeriCorps and the Carnegie Foundation. To learn more about Loyola, visit LUC.edu or follow us on Twitter via @LoyolaChicago.
About the Quinlan School of Business
The Quinlan School of Business at Loyola University Chicago educates responsible leaders who strengthen the local and global business system. Quinlan draws on the resources of a world-class location in the heart of Chicago and on industry-leading faculty to offer leading undergraduate, graduate, and executive education. Quinlan’s highly respected degrees include the Baumhart Scholars MBA for purpose-driven professionals and the one-of-a-kind Next Generation MBA. The school is named for Michael R. Quinlan, a double Loyola alumnus, and former president and CEO of McDonald’s Corporation. Learn more at LUC.edu/Quinlan or find us on LinkedIn, as well as on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram at @LoyolaQuinlan.
About the Loyola Family Business Center
Founded in 1990, the Family Business Center is an integral part of the Quinlan School of Business. The center’s mission is to support and help family businesses navigate complex generational transitions, strengthening both the family and business. The center believes that a community of family businesses learning together contributes to the sustainability of families, businesses, and society. Learn more at LUC.edu/fbc or find us on LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.