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Nardelli, Gleacher Named Honorary Doctorate Recipients

September 24, 2001

MACOMB, IL -- The Western Illinois University Board of Trustees approved a recommendation at their Sept. 14 meeting to name Eric Gleacher, a former WIU student and president and CEO of Gleacher Nat West, and Robert Nardelli, WIU graduate and CEO of The Home Depot, as the recipients of an Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters to be awarded at the University's May 11, 2002 commencement exercises.

Gleacher has had a distinguished professional career as chair, president and CEO of Gleacher & Co., an international investment banking firm in New York City which he founded in 1990. He has served as an associate and partner at Leman Brothers where he founded its mergers and acquisitions department in 1978, and then joined Morgan Stanley in 1983, where he served as global head of mergers and acquisitions. Gleacher, a member of the 1959 four-man Western team that won the NAIA national golf championship, recently donated $1 million to expand WIU's golf course -- now called the Harry Mussatto Golf Course in honor of his former golf coach at WIU -- to an 18-hole course.

"Eric Gleacher has made support for higher education a high priority for his volunteer service and philanthropy," said WIU President Donald S. Spencer. "We're proud of his association with our University, and we are gratified that he has made support for WIU a part of his life."

Gleacher, a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of Chicago, contributed $15 million to the school to help finance a new building for the business school in downtown Chicago. Over the years, Gleacher has been actively involved in golf as an administrator, a benefactor and player. He is a member of the United States Golf Association (USGA) Executive Committee, and is the USGA finance division chair.

Nardelli, who was named president and CEO of The Home Depot in December 2000, is a 1971 WIU graduate. The Home Depot, founded in 1978 in Atlanta, GA, currently operates more than 1,200 stores in the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico and Chile with reported sales of more than $45.7 billion. Prior to his position leading the world's largest home improvement retailer, Nardelli was president and CEO of GE Power Systems, a $15 billion division of General Electric Company. He started his career at GE in 1971, advancing through the manufacturing leadership positions in various business units

Nardelli was a three-year letterman on the Leathernecks football team from 1968-70 and was co captain and an all-state and all-conference performer in 1970. Nardelli served as an honorary co chair of WIU's $25 million Centennial Campaign, which concluded in December 2000.

"Robert Nardelli's personal involvement with WIU, as well as in numerous professional and civic organizations in New York with GE and throughout Home Depot's national network of stores has made him a figure of respect throughout the nation," Spencer said. "With Mr. Nardelli's help, Western's College of Business and Technology has improved its distance education capabilities and has expanded scholarship opportunities for those students. His generosity has also allowed WIU to enhance its athletics facilities. It is fitting to recognize him with our University's highest honor."

Posted By: Darcie Shinberger, University Relations
Phone: (309) 298-1993 * Fax: (309) 298-1606