John Schnatter, George Shultz to speak in Presidential Lecture Series

John Schnatter, founder and CEO of Papa John’s Pizza, and former secretary of state and labor George Shultz will be featured in the Spring 2016 Presidential Lecture Series.

The Presidential Lecture Series is a diverse series of lectures on policy, leadership, culture and society. The series will feature prominent experts and practitioners from various fields of interest for both the academics and the community at-large. Connected with each public presentation, speakers will be integrated into relevant curricular activities on the West Lafayette campus during their visits.

“From pizza to politics, these Presidential Lecture Series events will bring two well-known and highly respected leaders of business and government to campus,” said Purdue President Mitch Daniels. “I’m very excited that our community will have the opportunity to hear the array of expertise and experiences of these top visionaries will share.”

Daniels will lead both hourlong discussions, which include an audience question-and-answer session. Both events will be free and open to the public. Purdue Convocations assists the Office of the President with the series.

John Schnatter profile photoJohn Schnatter

Monday, March 28 / 6:30 pm / Fowler Hall

Schnatter has strong ties to Indiana. He was born in Jeffersonville and earned a bachelor’s degree in business from Ball State University, delivering pizzas on campus while a student. After returning home to Jeffersonville in 1983, he started his own pizza company, knocking down a broom closet in his father’s tavern, installing an oven and delivering pizzas out of the back of the bar.

He believed by using fresh dough and quality ingredients, he could make the same great-tasting pizza that locally owned shops offered but didn’t deliver. Papa John’s is now the third-largest pizza chain in the world, with more than 4,700 restaurants in 50 states and 38 countries and territories, and a market capitalization of $2.2 billion.

Schnatter was inducted into the Louisville Achievement Business Hall of Fame in 2000 and the Junior Achievement U.S. Business Hall of Fame.

George Shultz profile photoGeorge Shultz

Tuesday, April 19 / 6:30 pm / Loeb Playhouse

Shultz, an economist, served in President Richard M. Nixon’s administration as secretary of labor from 1969-70, director of the Office of Management and Budget from 1970-72 and as treasury secretary from 1972-74. He also served in President Ronald Reagan’s administration as secretary of state from 1982-89. He is one of only two individuals to serve in four U.S. Cabinet positions. The other is Elliot Richardson.

Before entering government service, he was professor of economics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Chicago, serving from 1962-69 as the dean of the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business. Between 1974 and 1982, he was an executive at Bechtel, becoming the firm’s first president.

He is the Thomas W. and Susan B. Ford Distinguished Fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University.