Michael Gruszyk, a veteran retail industry executive and 1985 graduate of Valparaiso University, has committed $1.3 million to fund an endowed professorship and a scholarship in the university’s College of Business.
The university in a statement said the funds will be divided between the Michael Gruszyk Endowed Professorship in Business and the Michael Gruszyk Endowed Scholarship Fund.
“I am fortunate to be in a position to give back to the university that gave so much to me,” Gruszyk said. “I attended the College of Business with a very specific career goal in mind, and the faculty helped make that a reality. They understood that my goal was to work in retail management for JC Penney and guided my academic progress toward achieving that goal.”
Gruszyk spent nearly three decades in retail. After graduating with a bachelor of science in business administration degree with a concentration in marketing, he worked in management positions with JC Penney for more than 15 years.
Gruszyk left JC Penney in 2000 and later worked for Verizon Wireless where he spent 13 years, opening new retail stores and serving as a regional operations manager.
Gruszyk’s commitment supports Forever Valpo: The Campaign for Our Future, a $250 million endowment campaign to secure permanent resources for student scholarships, faculty development and programs. The campaign, which launched in September 2016, has raised more than $200 million.