Earning a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and a master's degree in management science, Paul "PJ" Prutzman '66 '68G knew first-hand the caliber and talent of Lehigh graduates. In fact, during his 34-year career at Air Products, he hired nearly 20 of them to join his team.
"We hired from Lehigh like crazy. The graduates came out with solid analytic abilities. They could solve problems and create improved systems," says PJ, who recruited extensively from the industrial engineering department and the business school in operations research. "At one time, nearly three quarters of our senior management in the information technology organization held Lehigh degrees, and we had a world-class department."
Having retired from Air Products in 2002 as director of computing services, PJ wanted to continue helping Lehigh, but in a different way. He and his wife, Margie, consistently supported Lehigh initiatives with their philanthropy and decided that creating a gift annuity was the perfect next step at this point of their lives.
"We have been very fortunate to be in a position to give back. The gift annuities are a really neat way of making a tax advantaged gift that produces a stream of income," says PJ, who established four gift annuities with the intent to create a Lehigh endowed fund in their names.
"I've heard at Tower Society breakfasts what kids are experiencing in their vast opportunities through Lehigh and what they will be able to do for society with their backgrounds," says Margie. "It makes us want to support what Lehigh is accomplishing."
President of Delta Chi and a member of the men's swimming and soccer teams as an undergraduate, PJ knows that the benefit of his Lehigh education is immeasurable.
"At a certain point, you say, 'It is time to give back,'" he reiterates.