Virgin CEO Richard Branson once predicted that “the brands that will thrive in the coming years are the ones that have a purpose beyond profit.” Penn State Smeal College of Business marketing graduate Tom Buday agrees. That is why he and his wife, Linda, have made a gift to endow the Tom and Linda Buday Purposeful Brands Excellence Fund to prepare marketing leaders to create and “look after” purposeful brands in the future.

“Purposeful brands do what they do because it’s right and necessary for their business,” Tom Buday says. “It’s important that for-profit companies look across their value chain to determine how best to enhance the lives of customers and other key stakeholders and positively impact society and the environment in ways that are central to their business operations. In so doing they can differentiate themselves and build stronger customer relationships, while also benefiting their bottom line.”

Buday, the former global head of marketing and consumer communication at Nestlé, says he and his wife want Smeal to be considered the best in its class in preparing students to manage and lead purposeful brands and to “deliver the trifecta of impact contributions: enhance customers’ lives, deliver superior results, and contribute positively to society.”

Meg Meloy, professor of marketing, David H. McKinley Professor of Business Administration, and chair of the Marketing Department, says the Budays’ gift will support initiatives such as new curricula, guest speakers, experiential learning opportunities, and research grants to further the study of purposeful brands.

– Anne Louise Cropp