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George Vlahakis
IU Media Relations

Sue Artmeier
Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Anne Auer
Kelley School of Business

Last modified: Thursday, March 31, 2005

Southwest Airlines founder to keynote IU Entrepreneur Day

EDITORS: Reporters are welcome to cover the program, which will begin at 1:30 p.m. in Room CG3059 of the Graduate and Executive Education Center. Kelleher will be available to meet with reporters at 11 a.m. in CG 3061. Please call George Vlahakis at 812-855-0846.

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Herb Kelleher, founder and executive chairman of Southwest Airlines Co., will be the keynote speaker at the Fifth Annual Entrepreneur Day at Indiana University's Kelley School of Business on Wednesday (April 6) in Bloomington.

Kelleher's speech, "Southwest Airlines from the Chairman's View," will be part of a larger discussion about corporate governance and ethics. Registration is limited to Kelley School undergraduate and MBA students and faculty. The event is not open to the public.

Joining Kelleher on a panel will be Gary Anderson, founder and managing general partner of TL Ventures and a visiting scholar at the Kelley School; Dan Dalton, the Harold A. Poling Chair of Strategic Management and director of the Institute for Corporate Governance; and Wade Lange, president and chief executive officer of Indiana Health Industry Forum. Donald F. Kuratko, the Jack M. Gill Chair of Entrepreneurship and executive director of the Johnson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, will moderate.

Kelleher, a founder of Southwest Airlines, currently serves as its executive chairman, a position he has held since 1978. From 1981 to June 2001, he also served as Southwest's president and CEO.

Southwest commenced service with three airplanes in 1971 and today operates a fleet of 375 airplanes performing almost 2,800 flights per day. Kelleher's company has been profitable for 30 consecutive years and has never furloughed an employee. The fall 2002 edition of Money magazine revealed that, during the 30-year period of 1972-2002, Southwest produced the highest return to shareholders of any company included in the S&P 500 during that period: $10,000 invested in Southwest in 1972 was worth $10.2 million in 2002 (an average increase of 25.99 percent per year).

In Fortune magazine annual surveys, Southwest has consistently been selected as the Most Admired Airline in the world and as one of the Ten Most Admired Companies in the United States. Kelleher has received numerous awards and honors, including the U.S. Chamber Business Leadership Hall of Fame; CEO of the Year, from Chief Executive magazine; CEO of the Century, Texas Monthly magazine; National Sales and Marketing Hall of Fame; U.S. Master Entrepreneur, Inc. magazine; CEO of the Decade-Airline Industry, Financial World magazine; Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy; and induction into San Diego Aerospace Hall of Fame; and the business halls of fame of the State of Texas, the University of Texas, Texas A&M University and the City of Dallas.

Kelleher graduated with honors from Wesleyan University, where he was an Olin Scholar and where his major was English and his minor philosophy, and from New York University Law School, where he was a Root-Tilden Scholar.

For more information, call 812-855-4248.