John R. Hodowal

For his outstanding leadership as an engineer, attorney, and executive, the Purdue University Schools of Engineering are proud to present the Distinguished Engineering Alumnus Award to John R. Hodowal.

Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer
IPALCO Enterprises, Incorporated
BSIE '66

Hodowal bust

From his Purdue years to present

After receiving his bachelor's degree from Purdue, Mr. Hodowal went to law school at Indiana University and received the JD degree in 1970. He had worked for the Indianapolis Power and Light company as an engineer since 1968, and became an attorney for the firm in 1971. Mr. Hodowal moved through successive positions with the company, including associate general counsel and assistant secretary, treasurer, and senior vice president for finance, and was named chief executive officer last year. He became chairman of the board and chief executive officer of IPALCO Enterprises, the parent company of Indianapolis Power and Light, in February of 1990. Mr. Hodowal is also chairman of the board and president of Mid-America Capital Resources, Incorporated, also an IPALCO subsidiary.


  • "I can't imagine trying to understand a public utility like IPL without the technical background I have as a result of my Purdue years," says Mr. Hodowal, whose two daughters are Purdue students.


  • "I think I learned what you might call the 'industrial engineering approach,' where you not only ask the question 'Is there a better way to do this?' but also 'Do you need to do this in the first place?'"


  • "One think I remember about Purdue was a string of those 7:30 classes. In a way they kind of symbolized my Purdue experience--it was hard work but it prepared me well for dealing with some difficult challenges later in my career."

Young Hodowal reading

Mr. Hodowal's advice for the engineering freshman:

"I think there's a tendency for people to resist challenging themselves academically when they are 17 to 20 years old. Try to continue challenging yourself as much as you can throughout your college years."