To honor the legacy of David M. Lilly, The Toro Company’s fourth president and former dean of what now is the University of Minnesota’s Carlson School of Management, The Toro Company has established the David M. Lilly Faculty Chair at the University.
At an event held recently at the company’s headquarters in Bloomington, Minnesota, Toro also made the official dedication of the David M. Lilly Learning Center, in further recognizing Lilly’s leadership and lifelong passion for learning.
Joining Michael J. Hoffman, Toro’s chairman and chief executive officer, as he reflected on Lilly’s role in helping shape the company’s success and his contributions to the greater Twin Cities community was Lilly’s immediate family – along with President Eric W. Kaler of the University of Minnesota, Sri Zaheer, dean of the Carlson School, and other local dignitaries.
“David was a true visionary and legendary leader that literally transformed our company and the industries we serve,” said Hoffman. “He exemplified our culture through the personal value he placed on others, and his relentless commitment to research and innovation. Beyond Toro, he gave tirelessly of his time and efforts to the academic community, along with countless civic and philanthropic causes. Through the establishment of this chair, and dedication of the David M. Lilly Learning Center, we want to recognize David’s tremendous contributions to all of those he influenced and continue his legacy for years to come.”
The endowed chair is established through a grant of $2 million from The Toro Company and Melrose/Toro Community Fund. The grant will go to assisting the University of Minnesota in recruiting and retaining outstanding faculty members in the Carlson School, and help further support advancements in teaching, research and service.
Serving as Toro’s president for nearly two decades (1950-1968), Lilly also held the position as Toro’s chairman until 1976, when he went to Washington D.C. to serve as governor of the Federal Reserve Board.