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Parker Hannifin Foundation Endows Chair in Case School of Engineering

Date Released: 18 December 2014

Ken Loparo and Don WashkewiczKen Loparo, a senior leader and current chair of Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the Case School of Engineering, will be the first person to hold the Arthur L. Parker Endowed Chair. Named in honor of Parker Hannifin Corporation’s founder, the Parker Chair is a testament to the partnership between Parker Hannifin and Case Western Reserve. It is also demonstrative of the economic development role that the university plays in the Northeast Ohio region. An endowed chair provides valuable resources to attract and retain academic leaders who in turn support the research and commercialization agenda of companies like Parker Hannifin.

These academic leaders also attract students who become the technology leaders at regional, national, and international companies. On the undergraduate level the university attracts 75 percent of students outside the state of Ohio. The Engineering School then retains 50 percent of these students in the state of Ohio. This is true brain gain.

“This endowed chair reinforces our company’s connection to Case Western Reserve and furthers our goal to support education in the communities where we do business,” said Parker Chairman, CEO and President Don Washkewicz. MBA ‘79 “Through this commitment, we are providing a foundation that we hope will inspire today’s students to become the inventors of tomorrow in the spirit of our founder Art Parker.”

Arthur Parker, a 1907 graduate of the Case Institute of Technology, founded the Parker Appliance Co. in a small Cleveland loft in 1918. The 33-year-old engineer had invented a pneumatic braking system for trucks and buses. Almost a century later, that same company is a leading global manufacturer of motion and control technologies, employing 57,500 people in 50 countries and tallying annual sales of more than $13 billion.