Newsroom > News > Press Releases > Hay leadership development center at DePaul

DePaul University receives major gift to create leadership development center

Accelerator, customized solutions for business 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 center for leadership development and scholarship matching fund. (DePaul University Marketing)
CHICAGO — Chicago businesses and DePaul University students will soon have access to a new resource for leadership education, training and research. The William E. Hay Center for Leadership Development at the Driehaus College of Business, opening in 2021, will offer customized solutions to businesses as well as universitywide programming.

DePaul received an eight-figure gift from the estate of the late William E. Hay, an alumnus and former university trustee, to endow the center as well as a matching fund that will create as many as 100 new endowed scholarships.

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)
“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,” said 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.”

The 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, said 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,” said Rubin, who specializes in organizational behavior and human resource management. Applications to the accelerator will be open to students enrolled across the university. 

The center also will offer businesses customized executive education and leadership development consulting services, backed by the full strength and expertise of DePaul’s business school faculty. These services will be delivered by faculty members who have consulted for major international corporations and have shared their leadership insights in books, academic journals and Harvard Business Review articles. 

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

  • 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. 
  • The Hay Leadership Education Research Grant, a small grant research competition open to scholars internationally, to generate research relevant to both academia and business.
  • The Hay Leadership Insights Lecture Series, an annual lecture by a high-profile leader in academia, business or the nonprofit sector.
  • Certificate programs in leadership.
A vision to empower DePaul’s student 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. 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. 

"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," said 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," she said.  

The center supports the business college’s mission to produce socially responsible leaders who bring value to business and society, Johanson added. "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 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,” said 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,” said Allen.  

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,” said Allen.


Robert Rubin

Misty Johanson

Media contact:
Kristin Claes Mathews