Peoples Bank Donates Major Gift To Purdue University Northwest

December 13, 2022
People Bank Award Gift to PNW

From left, Diane Dalton, Assistant Vice President and Community Development Officer at Peoples Bank and Peymon Torabi, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Peoples Bank present Rachel Clapp-Smith, dean of PNW’s College of Business, a major gift for PNW, including a $30,000 endowment fund and $8,500 in scholarships funded over the next five years.

Peoples Bank recently presented a check to Purdue University Northwest (PNW) in the amount of $38,500, confirming their pledge to provide financial support for the university and its students. The agreement includes a $30,000 endowment fund and a total of $8,500 in scholarships that will be funded over the next 5 years. The donation supports a longtime partnership with the university and further defines Peoples Bank’s role as a local leader of excellence in our communities.

The donation will be distributed in annual increments through the year 2027, with the first distribution having been made outright in October in the amount of $14,500. Scholarships listed in the agreement include PNW Athletics, the College of Business Dean’s Fund and Student Experience and Distinguished Speakers, and the Ed Furticella and Jane Mutchler Scholarship Funds, respectively.

“This has been something we have been working on with PNW for a while, and I am excited to finally put pen to paper and get started,” said Peymon Torabi, EVP, Chief Financial Officer at Peoples Bank. “The arrangement will not only provide support for the next 5 years, but because it is set up as an endowment fund, the investment earnings will provide residual support that will transcend the initial principal donated.”

Peoples Bank and PNW celebrated the finalization of the agreement with a check presentation at PNW’s Hammond campus.

“The mission of the College of Business is to prepare students to make a difference in their organizations and communities,” said Rachel Clapp-Smith, interim dean of the PNW College of Business. “The endowed support from Peoples Bank is a long-term investment in the future leaders of northwest Indiana. Too often, we see talented students interrupt their education for financial reasons. The generosity of Peoples Bank allows us to ensure that students persist to a degree. We are grateful for the difference Peoples Bank makes in the lives of our students and the communities they serve now and in the future.”

“At Peoples Bank, we operate under the core values of Stability, Integrity, Community, and Excellence. Being a locally managed community bank, we take those commitments to heart by always looking for creative ways to be involved in our communities and support our community partners,” said Sarah Ricciardi, SVP, Director of Marketing at Peoples Bank. “Investments such as this, as well as the donation of our Woodmar building to the Purdue Research Foundation last year, have given us the power, collectively, to make an even greater impact in the Region, our economies, and the next generation of leaders.”

In September 2021, Peoples Bank entered into an agreement to donate their Hammond (Woodmar) Banking Center to the Purdue Research Foundation, an Indiana corporation on behalf of Purdue University Northwest (PNW). PNW’s space in the building supports community and economic development, including serving as the home of the Lakeshore Chamber of Commerce.

Peoples Bank continues to look for opportunities that will support local economies and make an impact on the communities in which they serve. It is this commitment that will help fulfill their overall mission of helping their customers and communities be more successful.

Purdue University Northwest (PNW) is a premier metropolitan university dedicated to empowering transformational change in our students and in our community. Located in Northwest Indiana, near Chicago, PNW values academic excellence, supports growth, and celebrates diversity. For more information about PNW, visit

Headquartered in Munster, Indiana, Peoples Bank is a locally managed community bank with roots in East Chicago in 1910. Today, the company serves its customers and communities at Banking Centers conveniently located across Northwest Indiana and Chicagoland. For more information on community involvement and happenings at Peoples Bank, visit us on social media, or visit