Glassburn: 'Every little bit helps'

A combination of “giving back” and Purdue pride inspire Allen Glassburn and his wife to include Purdue’s College of Technology in their giving plans. “My wife and I feel like we want to give back, and scholarships were a blessing to us when we were at Purdue. I received an education that launched my career at Indiana Michigan Power and American Electric Power,” said Glassburn, who graduated in 1974 with a degree in electrical engineering technology. He is vice president for regulatory/finance for Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) with headquarters in Fort Wayne, Ind. His work with I&M has helped strengthen his ties to Purdue as well. The company routinely hires Purdue graduates and contributes to the college, which Glassburn says benefits the company. Conversely, I&M matches its employees’ charitable contributions, so Glassburn’s support is multiplied. The Glassburns have periodically met with students who have received scholarships on behalf of his company. It was an experience he really enjoyed, he said. “The students are eager to talk about many aspects of their lives, including their specific interests and experience at Purdue. Some talk about their current classwork; what they’re involved in and future plans. You like to learn as much as you can about the students,” he said. “They would pick my brain about recommendations about jobs and careers. They are all full of great questions.” In 2007, Glassburn and his wife, Marcia, took another step in their philanthropy and established the Glassburn Family Scholarship in Electrical and Computer Engineering Technology, which will be awarded for the first time in Fall 2012. The renewable merit scholarship is for undergraduates in the same department that Glassburn graduated from. The Glassburns’ support of the College of Technology is part of their larger philosophy of giving. “Marcia and I have supported Habitat for Humanity, United Way, Junior Achievement and our church for many years. It’s important to help others in need,” he said. “Every little bit helps; it really does. $5, $10 or $100, when combined with others, can be a significant help to many individuals. We realize our contribution may not solve all the financial issues of the college, but to any one student it can be significant. It is a wonderful feeling to know that we are helping to educate future Purdue graduates.” ---- Find out how support like the Glassburns’ can affect the life of a current student. Read how graduate student Jennifer Kirschner's scholarship has helped her make an impact with her research on pilot safety.