Messenger - Vol. 1, No. 3, Page 2
Spring 1992
Tyler chooses University over Uncle Sam for $2 million gift

     Operating under the philosophy of "putting his money where his
mouth is," Chaplin Tyler decided to do something about his long-term
interest in business education in this country. That something is a $2
million gift to the University of Delaware to be used in its College
of Business and Economics.
     And the bottom line for this decision was simple. "At my advanced
age, I can drop dead any minute," Tyler, 94, said. "And if I did,
Uncle Sam would step in and take 50 cents, at the minimum, of every
dollar that I left that otherwise wasn't disposed. Now that's an
     "With the record of the personal banking in the House of
Representatives, would you rather have the Congress spending this
money, or would you rather have the University, under Dr. (David)
Roselle and Dean (Kenneth) Biederman, spending it? That isn't even
debatable in my mind."
     A retired senior member of the Development Department at the Du
Pont Co., Tyler was a lecturer in the University's Department of
Chemical Engineering from 1946-49. University President David P.
Roselle said Tyler has given several gifts to the University over the
years, and this support has been "much appreciated but it really pales
when compared to Chap's current generosity."
     Tyler's gift will be applied in two ways, Roselle said. Half will
go into a building fund for a new facility to relieve the overcrowding
of Purnell Hall, home of the College of Business and Economics. At
this time, the favored site for this building, which is still in the
early planning stages, is at the corner of Orchard Road and Amstel
Avenue, across the street from Purnell.
     The second million will create an endowment to support
outstanding faculty and students in the college. "Over the next seven
or eight years, as interest from Mr. Tyler's gift grows, we will name
five Chaplin Tyler Professors of Business and Economics," Roselle
said. The first Chaplin Tyler Professor will be named in the near
     The endowment also will support select graduate students as Tyler
     Describing his interest in higher education for business as a
30-year hobby, Tyler noted that the number of MBAs conferred in this
country in 1960 was around 4,000, and by 1990, that number increased
to more than 70,000. "I don't think that sort of growth has been
duplicated anywhere in higher education," Tyler said, adding that it
means that every 15 minutes there are "two newly minted MBAs."
     But, despite this growth, there are concerns, he said, quoting
the dean of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sloan School
of Management, who said, "If our business schools are doing so well,
why are our American companies doing so badly?"
     "The big question is, 'What do we do about this situation?' "
Tyler said.
     In several discussions with Dean Biederman, Tyler said they
talked about how business education might be shaped in the future.
     "We tried to compose...what might be termed a text for the future
of higher education in business. And that text reads something like
this: What American business needs to do is to offer products and
services that are globally competitive as to economy, quality and
safety," Tyler said.
     This new thrust will rely less on "the frills and endless
electives and concentrations and try to get back to fundamentals," he
said. "In other words, what does it take to train people who aspire to
have a life in business and industry, whether as a manager or as a
profession?" He also said instruction needs to move away from lecture
presentations to an active form of instruction.
     The author of numerous publications, he has authored or
co-authored books on chemical engineering economics and innovation
     A 50-year emeritus member of both the American Chemical Society
and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, he received the
Modern Pioneer Award on the occasion of the U. S. Patent Office