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Turner, Basil S. (1908-1997) | Purdue University Libraries, Archives and Special Collections

Name: Turner, Basil S. (1908-1997)


Historical Note: Basil S. Turner was born to a pioneering family in Kentucky in 1908.  After completing high school (one of the first in his county to do so), Turner was loaned money by a townsperson so that he could continue his education at Purdue.  He completed his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering there in 1930.  After graduating college, Turner was hired by the Chicago Telephone Supply Company (now CTS Corporation) as an assembly line worker and quickly worked his way up through the ranks- first as a supervisor and eventually becoming the company’s CEO.  During his tenure at CTS Corp. Turner greatly improved the company’s profitability and diversified their products.  As Turner became more successful he lent Purdue and other institutions of education financial and intellectual support, particularly in the areas of Management and Engineering.  Turner was responsible for the creation of a vocational training center in Elkhart, Indiana, Measurement Labs at Goshen College and Tri-State University, and the Turner Laboratory for Electroceramics at Purdue.  He also funded the Basil S. Turner Professorships of Engineering and Management at Purdue, as well as student loan programs at Purdue, Ball State, and Tri-State.  His successes and contributions to education in Indiana earned him the Elkhart City Bar Association’s Liberty Bell Award in 1978, a Horatio Alger award in 1981, and an Outstanding Electrical Engineer Award from Purdue in 1992.
Sources:

Abner, Dalene J.; Purdue Alumnus; Purdue University,  March 1993: 28-31; MSA 290, Basil S. Turner papers, Karnes Archives and Special Collections, Purdue University Libraries.

Only In America: Opportunity Still Knocks; Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Inc., 1982: 95-97; MSA 290, Basil S. Turner papers, Karnes Archives and Special Collections, Purdue University Libraries.

Outstanding Electrical Engineer Awards; Purdue University School of Electrical Engineering, 1992: 63; MSA 290, Basil S. Turner papers, Karnes Archives and Special Collections, Purdue University Libraries.

Note Author: Virginia Pleasant





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