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Alumni Spotlight: Tom Lugar Credits Shortridge with Preparing Him for Life

April 21, 2017

 

Tom Lugar is an engineer known not only for upholding his family’s business, but also improving his community. He has served as a board member for various local companies and organizations and, after a short stint in the U.S. Army (and the passing of his father), took the reins of Thomas L. Green and Co., which was started by his grandfather.

 

A 1951 graduate of Shortridge High School, Lugar attended Purdue University, where he received a degree in engineering.Tom Lugar

 

The Indianapolis native recently talked about being a proud IPS alum and how IPS, specifically Shortridge, helped prepare him for his professional journey.

 

Early life in Indianapolis …

I live here and grew up here. I love Indianapolis. I have one brother and one sister. Growing up, I enjoyed croquet with my neighborhood friends. I attended grade school at William A. Bell School 60 through eighth grade, and then I went to Shortridge for the remainder of my adolescent education.  

 

Your experience at Shortridge …

I had a very pleasant experience at Shortridge. I really enjoyed it. They had wonderful teachers and I still remember a lot of them. I played sports, including football; we won the city championship in 1949 when I was a junior. My senior year I had the pleasure of being co-captain on the football team. I had a wonderful football coach, Coach George Gale. He was a very good coach and mentor. He was a role model for a lot of students. Aside from football, I also ran track. I graduated in 1951.

 

Fondest IPS memory as a student …

I was involved in a lot of activities. I was involved in Shortridge symphony and played the violin. I participated in Shortridge vaudeville. I loved participating in these activities, but I still loved sports above anything else. Next to graduating in 1951, winning the city football championship in 1949 was a very fond memory for me with IPS.

 

My IPS education prepared me for ….

Life. (Shortridge) was a great school to prepare for college. I went to Purdue University, one of the best engineering schools in the country. I wanted to go to college to be an engineer and Shortridge helped prepare me for that.

 

Higher Education …

I graduated from Purdue University with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1955. My college experience was great as well – I love Purdue. I enjoyed my classes and the subject matter being taught. I also enjoyed being a member of a fraternity, Beta Theta Pi.

 

My life since graduating …

After college, I joined the Jet Engine Development Program at Allison Division of General Motors. I was later drafted into the Army and served in 1956. I was active for six months. My initial intention was to serve seven years in the reserves, but after my father passed away, I could leave with an honorable discharge to help in our family business. My father was the president of our family business (Thomas L. Green and Co., founded by my grandfather).  

 

I have been with Thomas L. Green Co. since January 1957. I started working in the shop, then in the engineering and sales departments, and was elected president in 1972. In 2001, we merged with Reading Bakery Systems Inc. in Pennsylvania. Today, I serve as a consultant for the company. I am still listed as chairman of the board.

 

Proudest accomplishments …

First, becoming an Eagle Scout as a freshman in high school. I am proud of being the president of the company my grandfather started. I am very proud of my wife, my children, and all our family. It was great having a nice family and being able to participate with them while they were growing up.

 

Additionally, some of my proudest civic involvements include:

  • Past chairman of the board of Methodist Hospital of Indiana
  • Past president of the Rotary Club of Indianapolis
  • Past member of the board of the Children’s Museum

 

Family…

I have been married to my wife Sally since 1958 and we have three children – Todd, Scott and Nancy. My wife and I enjoy spending time with our five grandchildren. Two of my grandsons followed my footsteps and graduated from Purdue University. Overall, my family are active, church-going, good people who are doing well and are compatible with each other. I love that we are a close-knit family and I am very proud of each one of them.

 

Interests/Hobbies …

I have a greenhouse in which I enjoy growing orchid plants. I also collect stamps and coins. I have been collecting both items since I was about 10 years old. Photography has always been a long-time interest of mine. I enjoy taking pictures of people and my family.

 

Vision/Dreams …

I hope that we can continue to live in a land of freedom and democracy. I can only hope that my kids and grandkids have the same opportunities that I did.

 

Final Quote …

“Work hard with honesty and integrity, strive for perfection, help others and love your family.”