College of Business: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Tony Petullo '61 pledges $3 million to College of Business scholarships


Businessman, art collector, and community leader Tony Petullo attributes much of his success to his student experiences and College of Business education. And in mid-June, Tony pledged $3 million by means of his estate plan to support scholarships in the College. He also pledged to make annual lifetime gifts of approximately $120,000 to be used for current scholarships.

This fall, the College is awarding 25 of these scholarships to a diverse group of College of Business students from around the state of Illinois: four incoming freshmen ($8,000 each), seven sophomores ($4,000 each), seven juniors ($4,000 each), and seven seniors ($4,000 each). All have demonstrated academic excellence and a commitment to serving their communities.

Tony earned a BS in marketing in 1961. After graduation, he spent three years as a US Navy officer and five years with Mobil Corporation. He then founded and became president of successful temporary-help firm Olsten Staffing Services in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Following the sale of Olsten Staffing Services, Tony became president of the Anthony Petullo Foundation, and is now one of Milwaukee’s most respected community leaders.

Tony is also one of the University’s most active volunteers and supporters. An expert in ‘outsider art,’ he has shared his renowned, vast collection with Krannert Art Museum. Tony has also helped establish core programs at the Illinois Leadership Center, including the Petullo Insight Leadership Program, which helps students develop the skills required for effective leadership in a complex, changing world. He has established one named professorship and two fellowships each in the School of Art and Design and the College of Media. Tony is a distinguished member of the Chancellor’s Advancement Cabinet, a member of the University of Illinois Foundation Presidents Council, and a past member of the Krannert Art Museum Board.

Thank you, Tony, for your generosity and commitment to continuing excellence of the College of Business and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign!

UIUC College of Business