To honor the legacy of David M. Lilly, The Toro Company’s fourth president and former Dean of what now is the University of Minnesota Carlson School of Management, Toro established The Toro Company-David M. Lilly Faculty Chair. At an event held at the company’s headquarters in Bloomington, Minnesota, Toro also dedicated the David M. Lilly Learning Center.
Joining Michael Hoffman, Toro’s chairman and chief executive officer, as he reflected on Lilly’s role in helping shape the company’s success and his contributions to the greater Twin Cities community was Lilly’s immediate family – along with President Eric W. Kaler of the University of Minnesota and Sri Zaheer, Dean of the Carlson School.
“David was a true visionary and legendary leader that literally transformed our company and the industries we serve,” said Hoffman. “He exemplified our culture through the personal value he placed on others, and his relentless commitment to research and innovation. Beyond Toro, he gave tirelessly of his time and efforts to the academic community, along with countless civic and philanthropic causes. Through the establishment of this chair, and dedication of the David M. Lilly Learning Center, we want to recognize David’s tremendous contributions to all of those he influenced and continue his legacy for years to come.”
The endowed chair is established through a grant of $2 million from The Toro Company and Melrose/Toro Community Fund. The grant will go to assisting the University of Minnesota in recruiting and retaining outstanding faculty members in the Carlson School, and help further support advancements in teaching, research and service.
Serving as Toro’s president for nearly two decades (1950-1968), Lilly also held the position as Toro’s chairman until 1976 when he went to Washington D.C. to serve as governor of the Federal Reserve Board.
At the end of his term, he returned to the Twin Cities and became Dean of what now is the Carlson School before later being appointed as the University’s vice president for finance and operations.