Alumni gives $21.6 million to MU School of Journalism
COLUMBIA - MU alumni David and Wendy Novak gave $21.6 million to the University of Missouri's School of Journalism to construct the Novak Leadership Institute.
The money, gifted Friday, will support the institute that is named after David Novak, who is noted for skills in advertising and marketing and his expertise in the area of leadership.
"One of the things I became enormously passionate throughout my career was just the ability to help people achieve their potential," Novak said.
MU alumni, faculty and students gathered in Reynolds Alumni Center to celebrate the gift.
Novak said it is important to have more leaders at MU and in America.
"When you look at what's going on in education, nobody is teaching leadership," Novak said. "Nobody is teaching people and preparing them on how to go in the workplace, how to run as leaders and how to win."
Novak is the co-founder, retired chairman and CEO of Yum! Brands. He said he wants to teach other people leadership skills he has learned throughout his career.
"As a CEO you get all this exposure, you get all this experience that most people don't get," Novak said. "I felt if I kept that to myself and I didn't share it, I would be selfish."
MU Chancellor Alexander Cartwright said he is excited about the Novak Leadership Institute.
Cartwright said it will give students a head start by teaching students strengths he didn't learn until he was in the workplace.
"We will help people be able to get to the stage that I got to after a number of years very quickly," Cartwright said. "Our students going out will have that skill set year one."
Two classes this semester are connected with the institute.