Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Press Releases
Caterpillar Inc. Chairman and CEO Doug Oberhelman ‘75 today joined Millikin University Interim President Peggy S. Luy to announce an investment of up to $11.5 million in the “Transform MU” campaign, the largest such investment in Millikin’s history.  

The investment, made both by the Caterpillar Foundation and personally by Doug and Diane Oberhelman, will support creation of a new university center that will house the Oberhelman Leadership Development Center, help renovate Millikin’s oldest residence hall to create a center for international education and double the number of students supported by the university’s Long-Vanderburg Scholars Program for minority students. 

“One of the things that I remember so well from my time at Millikin is the spirit and confidence that was instilled in all of us – that we could go anywhere and do anything we wanted,” said Oberhelman. "Throughout my career, I've had the opportunity to travel the world and to hold a variety of jobs, and I've carried those early lessons from Millikin with me every step of the way. Diane and I are personally committed to the university's ongoing success and to making sure future Millikin graduates have the opportunity to thrive both personally and professionally."

“Millikin has enjoyed a long and successful partnership with Caterpillar, extending back nearly six decades to 1955 when the company made its first investment in the university,” said Luy. “We are tremendously grateful for the generous support that Caterpillar has demonstrated to Millikin through the years, and this investment will do much to further our mission of preparing students to be confident, inspired global citizens by providing expanded opportunities for leadership development and international education.”
The $7 million investment from the Caterpillar Foundation, consisting of a $3.5 million core investment plus a $3.5 million challenge matching grant, will be supplemented by a $3.0 million personal donation and a $1.5 million challenge matching grant from Mr. and Mrs. Oberhelman.

“Caterpillar has hired hundreds of Millikin graduates through the years, including Doug Oberhelman, a Caterpillar employee since shortly after his graduation from Millikin in 1975,” Luy said. “Doug is one of the finest examples of how the unique performance-learning attributes of a Millikin education give rise to graduates who have the confidence to not only succeed, but thrive. He fulfills Millikin’s mission to attain professional success, democratic citizenship in a global environment and a personal life of meaning and value. The Oberhelmans’ commitment will help ensure that the same solid foundation Doug received at Millikin is available for future generations.”


Creation of the Oberhelman Leadership Development Center - $6.5 million
Total funding to create the Oberhelman Leadership Development Center on the second floor of the new University Center includes a $3.5 million challenge matching grant by the Caterpillar Foundation to match donations made by Caterpillar employees and retirees, as well as $3 million donated personally by Doug and Diane Oberhelman, for a total gift of $6.5 million. The proposed center will be home to more than 100 student leadership organizations, including Student Government, Greek Life and the Multicultural Student Council. Emerging and seasoned student leaders will have the opportunity to share their resources and practice leadership, management, marketing and technical skills. The new Center will include student organization and development areas, collaboration rooms and three flexible laboratory areas. 

Creation of a new Center for International Education - $3 million
The Caterpillar Foundation has also committed $3 million to help create a new center for international education through the renovation of Aston Hall, originally built in 1907. The proposed center will complement the academic experience, offering a variety of cultural, educational, social and recreational programs for students. The Center will provide residence hall space to house as many as 70 international and domestic students, three faculty offices, a 70-person lecture/conference hall, two “smart” classrooms and a resource room.

Challenge gift for donors to the new University Center - $1.5 million
Mr. and Mrs. Oberhelman have also committed to a $1.5 million personal challenge matching grant for potential donors to the new University Center. 

Expansion of the University’s Long-Vanderburg Scholars Program - $500,000
The Caterpillar Foundation is also investing $500,000 in Millikin’s existing Long-Vanderburg Scholars program, which recognizes high scholastic achievement among historically underrepresented students by providing scholarship support and development opportunities. The program will double from a total of 60 to 120 students in a four-year period and be renamed the Long-Vanderburg Caterpillar Scholars program. 

The $85 million Transform MU campaign was launched in May 2010 and will revitalize the east side of Millikin's campus, as well as make significant advances in creating new student scholarships, increasing endowment and faculty development funds, and improving infrastructure. To date, the campaign has raised over $46 million dollars. For more information, visit
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Millikin University - Decatur, IL
Millikin University - Decatur, IL