In 2003, Gary E. and James A. Milgard made a generous gift to UW Tacoma, which led to the naming of the Milgard School of Business. This gift also endowed the Center for Business Analytics.
In July of 1958, Gary Milgard, along with his father, Maury, opened Milgard Glass on South Tacoma Way in Tacoma. They were joined by Gary's brother, Jim, in 1961 and the company grew to become the largest window manufacturer in the Western United States. Milgard Manufacturing was sold to Masco Corporation of Michigan in 2001, but in those 43 years of growing and nurturing Milgard Manufacturing, the Milgard family developed a sustainable business model that continues on at the company today - The Milgard Philosophy.
Developed by Gary in 1984, "the one-page credo, which is posted throughout Milgard offices and meeting rooms, articulates three principles: the individual must be respected; the customer must be given the best possible service; and excellence and superior performance must be pursued." (The Milgard Story, Fenwick Publishing, 2004) Gary Milgard was famous for saying, "Our business didn't really succeed until I realized that I wasn't in the window business, I was in the people business." It was that underlying philosophy that inspired Jim and Gary Milgard to fund the Center for Business Analytics.
Our community lost a great leader in July of 2005 when Gary Milgard lost his battle with cancer. "It was an honor knowing and working with Gary Milgard," said Shahrokh Saudagaran, the Gary E. and Jame A. Milgard Endowed Dean of the Milgard School of Business. "Gary's philosophy of building success through a commitment to people will leave permanent legacies at Milgard Manufacturing and at the Milgard School of Business. As we launch the initiatives made possible by the Milgard gift, we will take great pride in honoring Gary's memory. There will be many people at UW Tacoma who will miss his inspiring presence."
We were equally saddened with the loss of Gary's wife Carol Milgard in early 2007. Carol helped to develop MG/CAT, or Community Action Teams at all of Milgard's plants - engaging employees in their communities to make them better for all. Carol was actively involved in her community from an early age and continued that work until her passing. She was very involved in the creation and operation of the Gary E. Milgard Family Foundation, which continues to support "well-managed, non-profit projects and programs that focus on health, education, youth and social services primarily in Pierce County."
As we develop the programs for the Center for Business Analytics, we do so knowing that we are carrying out the vision of two very special men and their families who are dedicated to the development of socially responsible business leaders who will build sustainable organizations and communities.