Wabash Mourns John H. Schroeder ’42

by Jim Amidon

April 5, 2011

All at Wabash College mourn the loss of devoted alumnus and long-time Trustee John H. Schroeder ’42, who passed away Monday. He was 90 years old.

He is survived by his wife, Ginny, and two sons, John C. ’69 and Richard, and their families.

Visitation will be Thursday, April 7 from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at Alexander’s Funeral Home (East Side) at 2115 Lincoln Avenue in Evansville, Indiana 47714. The funeral service will be at Neu Chapel on the University of Evansville campus, beginning at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, April 8. (Please note that Evansville is on Central Daylight Time.)

“John H. Schroeder was a great Wabash man, a loyal son whose family has meant so much to Wabash,” said President Patrick White. “He served on the Board of Trustees from 1982 to 1994 and as an Emeritus Trustee since then. The Schroeder Center for Career Development and the endowed John H. Schroeder Interdisciplinary Chair in Economics, currently held by Dr. Keoloha Widdows, are two outward signs of John's love and commitment to Wabash and the place he will hold forever in our hearts.”

Schroeder was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Wabash who majored in economics with a minor in history. At Wabash, he served as president of Phi Gamma Delta and the Board of Publications, and was a member of Blue Key and a writer for The Bachelor. He received an M.B.A. from the Harvard University of Business School.

John founded three companies — Crescent Plastics Inc., Cresline Plastic Pipe Company, Inc., and Wabash Plastics, Inc. Cresline is one of the largest plastic pipe and fittings manufacturers in the United States.

In 1989, Wabash awarded John an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree, and in 1992 the National Association of Wabash Men presented him an Alumni Award of Merit. In 1991, he was inducted in The Indiana Academy for his professional and civic leadership.

In addition to his love of Wabash, John also served as Treasurer and Chairman of the Board of the University of Evansville, and later helped guide the university through the aftermath of a terrible plane crash that killed every member and coach of the university’s basketball team. He received the university’s highest distinction, the Medal of Honor, in 1981, and he was granted an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.

With other members of his family, John established the Schroeder Family School of Business Administration at the University of Evansville. The school’s mission is to provide a life-transforming, high quality, innovative business education within a liberal arts and sciences framework.

Schroeder was a member and served on the board of the Washington Avenue Presbyterian Church. He was also president of the United Fund of Southwestern Indiana, the Vanderburgh County Society for Crippled Children and Adults, the Vanderburgh County Tuberculosis and Respiratory Disease Association, Goodwill Industries, and the Rotary Club. He also served as a board member of Old National Bank, Evansville Federal Savings and Loan Association, Southern Indiana Gas and Electric Company, Welborn Hospital, to name a few.


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