Our Donors

The Center for Principled Leadership and Business Strategy is supported by generous gifts from the Haworth family, William Johnston, the Menard family and the Charles Koch Foundation.


“Businesses are successful when they have deeply rooted values. Students today want to marry purpose with profit, and this center will offer Western Michigan University students the opportunity to contemplate how they, as tomorrow’s leaders, can do that.” – Dick Haworth, B.B.A.’64, chairman emeritus, Haworth

The Haworth family, owners of furniture giant Haworth Inc., are longtime supporters of Western Michigan University and the college of business. Nearly 30 years ago, the family partnered with the University to build a modern facility to house the college. Opened in 1991, Schneider Hall is the official home of the Haworth College of Business. G.W. Haworth was a 1937 graduate of WMU. In 1986, he was named a recipient of the WMU Distinguished Alumni Award, the highest honor the University can bestow on its graduates. His son, Dick Haworth, chairman emeritus of Haworth, Inc., is a 1964 graduate of the WMU college of business and received the Distinguished Alumni Award in 2004. 

Founded by G.W. Haworth in 1948, Haworth Inc. is a privately held, global leader in the contract furnishings industry. What began from humble roots—crafting wood furnishings in a Midwestern town on the shores of Lake Michigan—has evolved into a global company with a focus on workspace design that helps people perform their best.


“The center has touch points that will cause talented, aspiring students to choose WMU. It provides differentiating experiences and lifts up our West Michigan business community. This will be a game changer, and I hope others lean in to engage.” – William D. Johnston, B.S.’70, M.A.’74, chairman, Greenleaf Companies; trustee, Western Michigan University 

William D. Johnston is the chairman of Greenleaf Companies, which include Greenleaf Trust, Greenleaf Hospitality Group and Catalyst Development LLC. In addition to his membership on the WMU Board of Trustees, he is past chair of Southwest Michigan First, an area economic development agency, and he has served on a variety of additional boards, including for the Bronson Healthcare Group, Donald and Genevieve Gilmore Foundation, Special-Lite Corp., Softech Inc., HUMANeX and the WMU Foundation.

Johnston earned a bachelor’s degree in public administration in 1970 and a master’s degree in political science in 1974 from WMU. In 2010, he was named a recipient of the WMU Distinguished Alumni Award, the highest honor the University can bestow on its graduates. 


“To stay relevant, all of us need to embrace learning and new ideas so that we can create an America where nobody gets left behind. We hope our support of Western Michigan University’s Center for Principled Leadership and Business Strategy will enhance the educational experiences of students, preparing them for future success and offering them an opportunity to think about how they can add value to their communities after graduation.” – The Menard family, owners of Menards

From humble beginnings, hometown farm kid John Menard founded his namesake home-improvement store in 1960, while he still was a student. Today, Menards is a privately-owned, family-operated home-improvement business with 325 stores and 41 manufacturing facilities located in 14 Midwestern states, including Michigan. 

The Menard family has supported education for years, providing opportunities for hundreds of students to enhance their college experiences, helping them prepare for future success. Past contributions include donations to a variety of university programs and initiatives as well as university-sponsored community youth programs. Scores of university students have been employed by the company or served as interns. 

The Menard family has long been dedicated to providing employment opportunities and economic growth, providing a valuable resource for communities throughout the Midwest. The Menard family believes in doing things right, treating employees and customers like family in a hometown hardware store atmosphere.


“We believe that everyone has extraordinary potential, and educational programs that help people develop and apply their unique abilities can drive progress. Western Michigan University’s new center invites students to start thinking about their purpose and potential impact now, and we’re proud to support that vision.” – Charlie Ruger, Charles Koch Foundation vice president of philanthropy

The Charles Koch Foundation, founded in 1980, funds research and education programs that help individuals uncover their unique gifts and talents in order to help others, and society. Since 2011, the foundation has provided grants to enable thousands of scholars and not-for-profit organizations. 

Education is an essential part of helping people unlock their full potential. The foundation’s higher education grants allow students and scholars to explore a diverse array of ideas and perspectives at more than 300 colleges and universities nationwide. Grantees include top-ranked institutions, as well as smaller universities and liberal arts colleges across the country. The foundation seeks to identify programs and scholars who are building an education landscape open to the exchange of ideas and innovation, which allow scholars to pursue research and make possible new learning pathways that better serve students.