Rue Patel is a happy man. His life and the people around him are sources of appreciation for this former industrial technology major. He has accomplished much, and believes in giving back to his community.
One aspect of pride is the Purdue connection. He and his wife, Laurie (BA, EA, BA FA '90), are both grads. His father, now retired and living in Middlesboro, Kentucky, has a Ph.D. from the School of Pharmacy. Laurie's mother is an X-ray technician at the Purdue Student Hospital.
Patel also takes pride in community service involvement. He is on the board for United Way of Western New York, and chair for the upcoming Day of Caring, which pulls 7,000 volunteers together in the Buffalo area. Says Patel, "Our local Foundation coordinates food donations, volunteers, and monetary contributions to area agencies. We are the largest contributors to the Western New York Food Bank at over one million pounds annually, and grant over $200,000 to local agencies."
Asked what has influenced his success, Patel explains: "I've spend some time with Coach Joh Wooden, and would consider myself a disciple. I try to emulate his philosophies on leadership, winning, and building a team, and I try to teach those philosophies to others."
In his free time, Patel relaxes with Laurie and their children, Deven (6), Isabella (4), and Derek (3). He's a big fan of the Boilermakers, Minnesota Vikings, and Buffalo Sabres. He enjoys travel, golf, sports, working out, cooking, and eating, and is a collector of memorabilia, mainly sports, space, and guitars.
Another avenue of enjoyment for Patel is participating on the Industrial Advisory Board for the Industrial Technology Department at the College of Technology. He says, "I look forward to recruiting season so I can get back to the Purdue campus."
This was originally written for the Distinguished Technology Alumni Awards in 2003.