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Tom Scholl


BA 1970, Philosophy
HDR 2014, Liberal Arts

Without formal training, Tom Scholl began his professional career as a computer programmer. Fifteen years later he became senior vice president of engineering at Hughes Network Systems. In 1990, Scholl founded his first company, Telogy Networks, and bootstrapped it into the world leader of embedded software for Voice-Over-IP telephones and networks. In 1999, Texas Instruments acquired Telogy, allowing Scholl to co-found additional companies.

From engineer to businessman to entrepreneur to venture capitalist, Scholl has conquered steep and risky learning curves using basic tools from his liberal arts education. “The ability to read broadly and deeply, to think critically and ask ‘dumb’ questions, and to understand foreign languages and cultures in this era of globalization are vital to one's happiness and success,” says Scholl, now a general partner at Novak Biddle Venture Partners. “As an ‘institution of the world,’ Purdue teaches skills that will never go out of style and are more important than ever for our nation.”