Jim Haymaker and his family have strong
ties to Kansas State University. Jim grew up in Minnesota, but has fond memories of his grandfather, Henley Haymaker, giving him tours of campus as a young boy. Henley was a professor of Botany at K-State and Haymaker Hall is named after him. It was only natural for Jim to attend K-State. Jim graduated from Kansas State University in 1969 with bachelor’s degrees in economics and French. He also has a good command of Spanish and German. His language skills were useful when he
spent a year in Paris during his junior year. This pivotal experience helped to
formulate his desire for a career in international business and economic development. While at K-State Jim was a cadet in ROTC and met his future wife, Kathy, at a military honor society function called Scabbard and Blade. They were married in 1970. Continuing his studies, Jim received a Master of Business Administration in finance and international business from the University of Chicago in 1971, and an advanced degree in applied economics in 1972 from the University of Louvain in Belgium. After graduation, Jim began a career with Cargill that spanned 38 years. Jim and his family enjoyed their time in Europe and spent seven years in Germany and Spain before returning to the United States. During the last 15 years of his career, Jim and his team developed the tools and approach that led to a major transformation of the firm, successfully making Cargill more
customer focused and innovative. Jim and Kathy have four boys and are a close-knit family. Their children all live in Minnesota’s Twin Cities area. Jim and Kathy are frequent visitors but Key West, Florida is now their home. Their children have blessed them with eight grandchildren. In 1997, Jim brought his expertise in financial analysis and innovation to K-State’s Johnson Cancer Research Center when he joined the advisory council. In this role he led the creation of a strategic plan. Jim and his family have
also provided research awards. for undergraduates interested in cancer
research. Many of them go on to become PhD scientists, they become principal investigators. Many have gone on to medical school or other health professions. Jim has also worked tirelessly as an alumnus of the economics department. He met with Bill Blankenau, then head of the economics department in 2010. Bill recognized Jim’s expertise in leading transformation and asked him to form an advisory council and develop a strategic plan to increase
enrollment for the department. Jim Haymaker and his family have been
very generous directly in funding scholarships. They funded six undergraduate scholarships, two graduate student scholarships, and have donated also to several other scholarship funds we have. But beyond Jim’s resources provided to the department, he’s very instrumental in leading a peer-based approach to fundraising. By contacting others who followed his example, Jim Haymaker helped the department increase scholarships from four to forty in just a few years. Jim also created a scholarship in the College of Arts and Sciences in honor of Dr. Amit Chakrabarti’s father called The Dare to Dream scholarship. The qualities that I really admire in Jim is his leadership and his deep commitment to Kansas State and the students of Kansas State. He has taken leadership in shaping the future of the econ. Department, shaping the future of the Johnson Cancer Research Center and the College of Arts and Sciences, and also making a deep impact in students all over the college. So, for all these reasons, I don’t think there is any one better to deserve an honorary PhD. Please welcome Jim Haymaker.