DePaul University Newsline > Sections > Campus and Community > DePaul creates William E. Hay Center for Leadership Development

​​​​DePaul receives 8-figure gift to endow leadership development center, scholarships

William E. Hay Center for Leadership Development to launch in 2021

Driehaus College of Business students in Loop Campus
A gift from late DePaul alumnus William E. Hay will endow a new universitywide center for leadership development and scholarship matching fund. (DePaul University Marketing)
DePaul University has received a significant, eight-figure gift from the estate of the late William E. Hay, an alumnus and former university trustee, to endow a university-wide leadership center and a scholarship matching fund. 

The William E. Hay Center for Leadership Development at the Driehaus College of Business will serve as a resource for all students and faculty at DePaul as well as the Chicago business community, offering leadership education, training and research. The Hay Endowed Scholarship Challenge will generate as many as 100 new endowed scholarships for DePaul students by encouraging donors to match Hay scholarship dollars. 

“This generous gift from the late Bill Hay, an alumnus and longtime DePaul benefactor, will allow DePaul to expand access to education and enhance leadership development for our students for many years to come,” says A. Gabriel Esteban, Ph.D., president of DePaul. “It is a fitting legacy for Bill, who so strongly believed in DePaul’s mission and preparing the next generation of servant leaders.” 

Hay earned his MBA from DePaul in 1966 and an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters in 2006. He founded William E. Hay & Co., a Chicago-based consulting and executive search firm and served as a DePaul trustee and instructor. Hay previously funded the Vincent on Leadership: Hay Project at DePaul, which since 2002 has been advancing the leadership values of St. Vincent de Paul. 

A vision to empower DePaul’s student leaders 

“It was Bill Hay’s inspiring vision to create an innovative center to develop student leaders at DePaul, housed in the Department of Management, where he previously taught as an instructor,” says Misty Johanson, dean of the Driehaus College of Business. “I am incredibly humbled and honored to have had the opportunity to work with him on making his dream a reality through the center that will now proudly carry his name,” Johanson says. 

Bill Hay
DePaul alumnus and former university trustee William E. Hay had an ‘inspiring vision’ to develop student leaders.’ (Image courtesy of the estate of Willam E. Hay)
The center supports the business college’s mission to produce socially responsible leaders who bring value to business and society, Johanson adds. “Bill’s generous gift places DePaul at the forefront of student leadership development education and establishes the Driehaus College of Business as a solutions provider for the business community to enhance leadership talent.” 

The center will be housed in a newly designed space with state-of-the-art training classrooms on the seventh floor of the DePaul Center on DePaul’s Loop Campus. Scheduled to open in fall 2021, the center will offer programming that includes: 

  • The Hay Leadership Accelerator, a rigorous and selective one-year leadership development program for DePaul undergraduate students. It’s anticipated that the first cohort of students will apply in spring 2021 to begin the program that fall; 
  • Customized executive education and leadership talent solutions for corporate partners; 
  • Hay Leadership Education Research Grant, a small grant research competition open to scholars internationally, to generate research relevant to both academia and business; 
  • Hay Leadership Insights Lecture Series, an annual lecture by a high-profile leader in academia, business and nonprofit; 
  • Certificate programs in leadership. 
"The Hay Center’s accelerator program will provide DePaul students with the type of leadership training that Fortune 500 companies offer their best talent five or six years into their careers," says Robert Rubin, associate dean, who oversees graduate and executive education at the Driehaus College of Business. 

"The program will be especially beneficial to our students who have not had prior exposure to high quality leadership development before entering the workforce," Rubin adds. "For the business community, the center will be a powerful partner. We will offer businesses customized talent development solutions, backed by the full strength and expertise of DePaul’s business school faculty.” 

The Hay Endowed Scholarship Challenge

Hay’s gift to the university will also significantly expand DePaul’s scholarship offerings. Through the Hay Endowed Scholarship Challenge, donors who give $25,000 or more to create a new endowed scholarship will have their donations matched. 

“Through Bill Hay’s generosity, donors are able to create a new endowed scholarship to assist deserving DePaul students for half of the current amount required to create such a fund,” says Dan Allen, vice president for advancement. The challenge will run from March 11 to Dec. 30, 2020.

“Bill understood the extraordinary value of a DePaul degree and the possibilities it has unlocked for countless students. He took seriously his responsibility to give back and ensure future DePaul students have the same opportunities he had,” Allen says.

The need for scholarship support is as great as it has ever been for today’s students. With the help of this new program, DePaul will significantly expand scholarship offerings. “We plan to create 100 new scholarships,” Allen says.