Entrepreneur Keith Krach receives honorary IE doctorate

Keith J. Krach (BSIE ’79), chairman of the board of DocuSign, a robotics industry pioneer, and a former chairman of the Purdue Board of Trustees, received an honorary Doctor of Industrial Engineering at Purdue’s commencement ceremonies in May.
Keith Krach accepts his honorary doctorate.

A generous contributor of time and resources to Purdue, Krach was a Purdue trustee from 2007-2013, serving two terms as board chairman. In 2014, the Krach Leadership Center on the university’s West Lafayette campus was dedicated in his honor after he and wife, Metta, made a $10 million donation. The Krach Leadership Center houses student resources, including academic assistance, leadership development programs, and student organization meeting space.

At the center’s dedication ceremony, Krach credited Purdue with offering him “multiple opportunities to jump into water over my head in terms of leadership.” He said: “The beautiful thing Purdue gave me was a unique environment, with strong arms around me to experiment with different leadership styles. Those principles and ideals are the same ones I used to be part of building five companies.”

After graduating from Purdue, Krach received a Harvard MBA on a fellowship from General Motors, where he spent 10 years, serving as general manager of its new robotics division and becoming the company’s youngest vice president at age 26. He went on to roles including chief operating officer of Rasna Corporation, a mechanical computer-aided design software company; co-founder, chairman and CEO of Ariba; and CEO and later chairman of DocuSign, which made headlines with its recent successful IPO.

Keith Krach with his family and friends pose with President Mitch Daniels and Dean Mung Chiang.

Krach also has served as chairman of Angie’s List; a director of XOJET and Ooma; and international president of Sigma Chi, which he joined at Purdue.

Among numerous business accolades, Ernst & Young honored Krach as its National Entrepreneur of the Year, citing his “dedication, brilliance, creativity and gumption,” and Red Herring named him to its Top 10 Entrepreneurs list.

Dean Mung Chiang and Keith Krach.

Commencement speech: Keith Krach’s commencement speech

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