Make a Gift

Your gift will support the strategic functions of the Women’s Global Health Institute.

To sustain the Institute, attracting and retaining visionary leadership and moving research forward for the long term, private philanthropy is needed. In addition, we seek partnerships with companies, foundations, government agencies, and nongovernmental organizations interested in improving women’s health globally. 

Resources will support the WGHI priorities through the following strategic functions:

  • Pilot Research Grants
  • Graduate Research Assistantships
  • Core Research Grants
  • Sustainability Fund (operational support)

For more information about gift opportunities, please contact Judy Schumaker, Director of Advancement, College of Health and Human Sciences, Purdue University, 700 W. State Street, W. Lafayette, IN 47907. 765.494.7987 jschumkr@purdue.edu

Donor Spotlights

Bill and Diane Edmundson

Bill and Diane Edmundson

A Purdue alumni couple, Bill and Diane Edmundson, established Mildred Elizabeth Edmundson Research (MEER) pilot grant program at the WGHI in 2012 to provide funds for outstanding projects addressing translational research of women’s health issues.

Mr. Bill Edmundson has spent over forty years in all aspects of the food and beverage industry including serving in the Navy as an Officer’s Club manager and then as a trainer of club managers for the Navy. Next, he managed food service operations for the Fred Harvey Company in Las Vegas, St. Louis and Cleveland. The next twenty-five years he was involved in contract food services. During that time he served as a Vice President of Operations for both Greyhound Food Management and the Ogden Corporation. He then spent fifteen years at ARAMARK where he served as President of three different operating divisions. He left ARAMARK to join the Wood Company, a regional food service contract company, as President and Chief Executive Officer. He left six years later to become a Partner at Tenacity Incorporated, a consulting firm specializing in client retention management processes for large service companies before he retired in 2010.

Mr. Edmundson, a 1962 Purdue graduate in Institutional Management, now Hospitality & Tourism Management (HTM), has spoken numerous times over the last twenty-five years to the HTM classes at Purdue and is currently a member of the Department’s Strategic Alliance Committee. In 1986 he was honored as a Purdue Old Master, as a Distinguished Alumni of the College of Consumer and Family Sciences in 2008, and as 2014 HTM Hall of Fame Inductee. He served on the Steering Committee for the Chicago Campaign as part of the Campaign for Purdue and was very active in fund raising for the new Marriott Hall.

He was a founding member of the Society of Foodservice Management (SFM) and served as a corporate advisor to The American Dietetic Association. He was also a long time member of The American Society for Hospital Food Service Administrators (ASHFSA). During his foodservice career, he wrote several articles for Food Management Magazine and served on a number of their panels.

Mr. Edmundson has also served on various cultural and service boards over the years. He is a past president of Pennsylvania Opera Theatre Board as well as a past President of the Allentown Pennsylvania Symphony Board. He served eight years on the Board of Trustees at Paoli Hospital located in the suburbs of Philadelphia. He makes his home in Chicago and is currently on the advisory board for the College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University in downtown Chicago as well as the House Chairman for the Ridgemoor Country Club.

Mrs. Diane Edmundson currently serves as Co-President of the League of Women Voters (LWV) of Cook County, Illinois which is the 2nd largest country in the nation with over 5 million residents. Diane also served as the 22nd State President of the LWV of Pennsylvania from 1993 to 1995. During her tenure she guided the State League through the process of setting up a 501[c][3] trust to administer the citizen education activities of the organization.

For ten years, Diane worked with Warner Lambert-Park Davis Pharmaceutical Company in Michigan, South Carolina, and Teas rising through the ranks to become the Manager of Human Resources for a plant in Dallas that manufactured thyroid diagnostic test kits. In 1993, Diane was appointed by then Pennsylvania Governor Robert Casey to serve a three-year term as Vice Chair of the new state Judicial Conduct Board. Its role is to investigate complaints against Pennsylvania judges and, if warranted, to prosecute them before the Court of Judicial Discipline.

Diane is a native of Michigan. She graduated summa cum laude from Rosemont College in Pennsylvania at the age of 44 with a BA in Economics and a minor in Political Science. Being one of five girls in a family of six children, women’s health issues have always been important to Diane. She feels very fortunate to have met and married Bill and will forever appreciate the influence his mother had on his life and values. It is for this reason that she requested that their gift to the Institute be named for Mildred Elizabeth Edmundson. Bill and Diane have two grown sons and six beautiful grandchildren. They now live in Park Ridge outside of Chicago.

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William R. Killian and Cindy Killian

William R. Killian and Cindy Killian

Bill Killian is responsible for licensing and acquisitions for the Nutrition, Medical Optics and Diabetes Care Divisions of Abbott, a global, broad-based health care company.

As Divisional Vice President in the Corporate Licensing and Acquisitions group, Bill leads a team that works with Commercial, R&D and Operations organizations to identify products, technologies and markets which provide unique products for patients and consumers of all ages throughout the world so they can live healthier lives.

After graduating from Purdue with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering, Bill began his career at Abbott as a manufacturing engineer in Abbott’s Pharmaceutical Division. He subsequently held various roles of increasing responsibility in product development and marketing for the Diagnostics Division before he moved into global business development.

Bill’s business development experience includes negotiating and executing acquisitions, joint ventures, licenses and other strategic agreements. He has closed over 50 deals in the areas of nutrition, molecular diagnostics, immunology, clinical chemistry and ophthalmology. He holds a Certified Licensing Professional (CLP) designation from the Licensing Executives Society.

In his current nutrition role, he works on collaborations, licensing and acquisition of technologies or businesses which improve the lives of customers through science-based nutrition.

Bill resides in Wilmette, Illinois with his wife Cindy, also a Purdue engineering graduate (BSEE).

For the past few years, Bill has served on the WGHI External Advisory Council which provided him with the opportunity to see firsthand the enthusiasm and strong science at Purdue. As a result, Cindy and Bill decided they wanted to be part of it by providing financial support for WGHI programs.

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Elaine Wedral

Elaine Wedral, PhD

Dr. Elaine Wedral is on the Board of Directors of three major food/chemical specialty companies and the Editorial Board of Food Processing magazine. Dr. Wedral was President of International LifeSciences Institute-NA and was president of Nestle’s Food & Nutrition R&D center in New Milford, Conn.while heading R&D strategy and technical development activities for Nestle’s International Foodservice business.She spent 34 years with Nestle, in various technical positions including President of of all U.S. R&D laboratory facilities 1988-2007 and was a member of Nestle’s global R&D management committee.

Janice Buckles

Janice Buckles

“I recently retired from the Nutrition Science Department at Purdue. I loved interacting with the students and faculty who I learned so much about nutrition and health. I felt very fortunate to be asked to cater for special events that WGHI and have the opportunity to meet many of you who work tirelessly to improve the health of women worldwide through research and training. I choose to donate to WGHI as a small way to say thank you for all you do for women and all Dr. Connie Weaver did for me.”

Donation Recipients

Sonak Pastakia

Sonak Pastakia

Sonak Pastakia is the recipient of 2017 Mildred Elizabeth Edmundson Research Grant for his proposal titled “A Contextualized Community Based Approach for the Early Identification and Treatment of Breast and Cervical Cancer in Rural Western Kenya”.

Sonak Pastakia serves as an associate professor at Purdue and since 2007 has been spending most of his time each year on site in Kenya. In Kenya, he has implemented a wide variety of programs, including a rural diabetes care program that currently serves over 8,000 patients, a portable care system linked to microfinance groups that provide chronic disease management services, a pharmacy distribution system which provides antiretroviral medications to over 150,000 HIV-infected patients, a large multi-country gestational diabetes study in low- and middle-income country settings and an anticoagulation monitoring program with a focus on rheumatic heart disease. He teaches in diverse faculty positions at North American and Kenyan universities. He also has ongoing research and care efforts focused on diabetes and population health in India. Pastakia is interested in the design and implementation of community health delivery models which combine economic support, agricultural assistance and comprehensive health care into one integrated delivery system. He was selected as Jefferson Science Fellow in 2017.

Graham Cooks

Graham Cooks

Graham Cooks is the recipient of 2017 Mildred Elizabeth Edmundson Research Grant for his proposal titled “ZIKV Diagnostic Approach in Human Semen by MRM-Profiling Mass Spectrometry”.

Graham Cooks is the Henry Bohn Hass Distinguished Professor of Chemistry in the Aston Laboratory of Mass Spectrometry at Purdue University. His research interest is mass spectrometry, including fundamental phenomena, instrumentation and analytical applications. Several new types of mass spectrometers have been constructed in his laboratory, including hybrid sector/quadrupole instruments and advanced ion trap instruments. His group has made significant contributions to the development of desorption ionization and tandem mass spectrometry as methods of analysis of complex mixtures.

Graham Cooks was awarded the 2014 Nobel Laureate Signature Award for Graduate Education in Chemistry.

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