In Celebration of “Bud”
By Rebecca Scherer
lan “Bud” Wendorf (ME ’71), who served as chairman of the Illinois Institute of Technology Board of Trustees from 2013 to 2018, is an inspirational example of an alumnus giving back to today’s students through scholarship and capital improvements, as well as volunteer initiatives.
In 2013 Bud—as he prefers to be called—retired as chairman and chief executive officer from a 41-year career at Sargent & Lundy, a world leader in professional services for the electric power industry, and became chairman of the university’s Board of Trustees. When he stepped down as board chairman in 2018, the university celebrated his tenure on September 21 with a special event featuring several of the students supported by the generosity of Bud and his wife, Suzie.
“I really enjoyed helping the university improve,” Bud says of his time as board chairman. “Continuing traditions and giving new life to this 129-year-old university have meant so much to me.”
It is an Illinois Tech tradition to name a space on campus or a university program in honor of an outgoing chairman of the board to reflect what he or she is passionate about. President Alan W. Cramb announced at the event that something special would be done for Bud: a scholarship program would instead be created in his name. Fellow trustees, university leaders, and Illinois Tech alumni employed at Sargent & Lundy came together to personally contribute to scholarships. More than $1 million was raised to create three new scholarships in Bud’s honor.
University Regent John Rowe, who immediately preceded Bud as board chairman, remarked at the event, “Bud’s leadership has paved the way for the Board of Trustees for the last five years. He has led with sincerity, candor, and integrity, through his actions and his philanthropy.”
Bud and Suzie have shown extraordinary dedication to the university through their passion for students by supporting scholarships at Illinois Tech for nearly 20 years. They have been supporting scholarships at Illinois Tech for nearly 20 years. In 2007 the couple established the Alan and Suzanne Wendorf Endowed Scholarship and has fully supported 13 Wendorf Scholars over the past 11 years. The Wendorfs have also given generously through Interprofessional Projects (IPRO) Program sponsorship gifts and the naming of the Alan (ME ’71) and Suzanne Wendorf Lounge in the Ed Kaplan Family Institute for Innovation and Tech Entrepreneurship.
During a ceremony at the October 25, 2018, Board of Trustees meeting, it was announced that Bud would be elected a university regent—one of Illinois Tech’s highest honors. A regent is a trustee, who, through extraordinary philanthropy and leadership, has distinguished himself or herself as a change agent for Illinois Tech. The late Bob Galvin, Bob Pritzker (IE ’46), and Al Self were the first university regents; Bud will now join trustees Craig Duchossois, Rowe, and Ralph Wanger as the next generation of exceptional leaders.
Bud says he was shocked at the announcement. “I am humbled because the quality of people who serve as our regents is amazing. I don’t feel that I belong in the same class as that group, but I am greatly honored by it and will do my best to continue leading the university.”
[Left to right] Michael P. Galvin (LAW ’78) and Bud Wendorf (ME ’71) at the October 25, 2018, Illinois Tech Board of Trustees meeting