The Robert Horton and Horton-Goldman-Sachs Endowments
Robert V. Horton was a partner at Goldman, Sachs, and Company from 1954-63. He retired and came to Purdue in 1964 to work in the area of economic education, drawing a salary of $1 a year. He played a prominent role at Purdue and in the national economic education movement for many years. When Horton died in 1978, several of his co-workers at Goldman Sachs provided the funds to establish the Robert Horton endowment. When his wife Helen died, additional funds were put into the endowment.
The Robert Horton endowment was originally intended to fund assistantships for former elementary or secondary teachers who came to Purdue to pursue a master’s degree in economic education. Over the years, the number of teachers wishing to pursue such a degree was sharply reduced. In 1984, then Associate Dean Dennis Weidenaar reached out to the trust administrator to request approval to broaden the use of the fund to include economic education programs in general, including teacher workshops in economics curriculum development. This request was approved, providing a source of funding for the PCEE to offer economic education programming to teachers via after school workshops and other outreach programs.
The Lawrence Senesh Endowment
Lawrence Senesh was born on March 27, 1910, in Hungary. Senesh received a degree in economics at the University of Berlin in 1932. In 1940, Senesh immigrated to the United States where he first worked in the lumber industry and was eventually inducted into the army as a rifleman and lumberjack. He served in the South Pacific and while there received the Bronze Star for organizing the Information-Education program of the U.S. Army for the South Pacific Area. Upon leaving the service, Senesh’s interest in education and research put him on a path that led him to a faculty position at the University of Denver, the pursuit of a Ph.D. at the London School of Economics, and then to a position as the first staff economist at the joint Council on Economic Education (JCEE). While at the JCEE he gleaned his interest in economic education in middle and high schools, and later for younger children, as well. Senesh became well known for developing ways to teach economics to young students via role playing, visual presentations, and other innovative techniques of the time. In 1954, Senesh was contacted by Emanual Weiler of Purdue’s Krannert School of Industrial Management (the predecessor to the Krannert School of Management), who asked him to join the Purdue Economics faculty as the first professor of Economic Education in the nation. Senesh accepted, and served in this capacity from 1957 to 1969. He is considered a pioneer in economic education for the elementary grades and was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Letters by Purdue University in 1977. Professor Senesh passed away November 19, 2003, at the age of 93, but his legacy and commitment to economic education live on through the Lawrence Senesh Estate Endowment bequeathed to the Purdue Center for Economic Education and the Indiana Council for Economic Education.
Lawrence Senesh: His Life and His Legacy, Peter Harrington and Joseph Rueff, 2000, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN.
Krannert Portfolio, Krannert School of Management, West Lafayette, IN, Spring 1990.