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Kelley School of Business

Last modified: Monday, February 14, 2005

Retired Sun Microsystems executive makes gift to create scholarships at Kelley School

Donna and John Shoemaker

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- John C. Shoemaker, a pioneer in the high tech computing industry for more than three decades, has endowed new undergraduate scholarships with his wife, Donna, at Indiana University's Kelley School of Business.

Shoemaker, retired executive vice president-computer systems and general manager of Sun Microsystems, earned a master of business administration degree from IU's Kelley School of Business in 1966. He and his wife, Donna, are donating approximately $6 million to endow the merit-based John and Donna Shoemaker Scholarships.

A native of Rochester, N.Y., Shoemaker first came to Indiana to earn a bachelor's degree at Hanover College in 1964 and then was awarded a fellowship to pursue graduate business studies at IU. They now reside in Los Altos, Calif.

"Hanover and IU gave me a great start in preparing for my life and career," John Shoemaker said. "Both Donna and I are strong supporters of solid Midwestern values and well-rounded young people being given every opportunity to receive a good education; and especially, the moral and ethical grounding so critical to becoming leaders in our society.

"I have learned through the years how central a personal values-based leadership style is to being effective in creating positive change and impact on large organizations," he added. "We have been very fortunate to have achieved a degree of success which allows us to give back to those institutions that have been so important to us in our formative years.

"Establishing a merit-based source of funds to allow high-potential young people to avail themselves of the tremendous educational opportunities at Kelley gives us a wonderful feeling of joy and satisfaction. We are thankful for the chance to make some small difference."

Daniel Smith, interim dean of the Kelley School noted the Shoemakers' generous support of the school. "While John is widely acknowledged as a pioneer in information technology, he is equally well known for his leadership skills, the cornerstone of which is an unwavering commitment to the highest of ethical standards. It is indeed a great honor for the school to have a scholarship that bears the Shoemaker name," he said.

"The quality and status of the Kelley School depends largely on our ability to attract world class students and faculty. The Shoemaker scholarship endowment will help us to continue to be the school of choice for the finest students interested in studying business," Smith added. "The incredible generosity of John and Donna has helped to ensure that Kelley will remain among elite set institutions for many years to come."

Prior to joining Sun, Shoemaker spent 21 years with Xerox Corp., in a variety of positions starting as a financial analyst in 1969 and rising to be a corporate vice president in 1986. His last positions with Xerox were as vice president and general manager-document systems businesses and then senior vice president and general manager-printing systems businesses.

Shoemaker continued his career at Sun Microsystems in Palo Alto, Calif., where he held several top management positions in 14 years. He retired from his position as executive vice president-computer systems with Sun Microsystems in June 2002. He was general manager of the company's hardware systems businesses. All product development, design, and marketing personnel reported to his operation.

Prior to this position, he was executive vice president-worldwide operations and chief quality officer at Sun. He was responsible for manufacturing, supplier management, logistics and distribution and supply and demand and he led the company's corporate quality initiatives. Since his retirement, he has worked with Sun and developed its leadership institute for the training of potential vice presidents to assume future top management roles. He also now serves on corporate boards for companies, including three startup firms.

The Kelley School named Shoemaker an alumni fellow in 2001 and he has been a member of its Dean's Advisory Council since 1995. He serves on IU's Technology Advancement Council. He also serves as a trustee of Hanover College, where he and his wife donated more than $500,000 to establish the campus' Shoebox Center.

The Kelley School of Business, through more than 80 years of innovation, continues to maintain its visibility as one of the country's premier business schools. Its undergraduate and advanced programs are ranked among the best in the country, and many of its graduates hold leading positions at many of Indiana's and the nation's top companies.