Suzanne & Richard Pieper Family Foundation Endowed Chair for Servant Leadership

The Suzanne & Richard Pieper Family Foundation established an endowed chair at the University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Engineering in 2008. Institutional recipients of the chair agree to measure performance and report annually to their peer institutional reporting system. Chairs meet annually to share accomplishments. On the basis of their results or progress, the foundation makes awards to increase the endowment.

“The servant-leader is servant first.... It begins with the natural feeling that one wants to serve, to serve first. Then conscious choice brings one to aspire to lead. That person is sharply different from one who is leader first, perhaps because of the need to assuage an unusual power drive or to acquire material possessions. The leader-first and the servant-first are two extreme types. Between them there are shadings and blends that are part of the infinite variety of human nature.

“The difference manifests itself in the care taken by the servant — first to make sure that other people’s highest priority needs are being served. The best test, and difficult to administer, is: Do those served grow as persons? Do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants? And, what is the effect on the least privileged in society? Will they benefit or at least not be further deprived?”

— Robert K. Greenleaf, 1970

We extend our profound thanks for the commitment of the Pieper Family Foundation in developing student leaders. The foundation offers the UW-Madison College of Engineering an extraordinary opportunity to work as partners in helping students perceive the larger world in which they exist and how they may help others through ethical decisions and genuine service.