Beating the Drum for the Purdue Family
On autumn Saturday afternoons when the Boilermakers take the field at Ross-Ade Stadium, there's one family almost certain to be in the stands.
Win or lose. Sunshine or rain. Hot or cold.
For five years now, Inacio Moriguchi and, more often than not, his wife, Andrea, have braved the long road from their Rochester Hills, Michigan, home to the West Lafayette campus to cheer and celebrate.
Bear in mind, the Moriguchis are not an alumni family. And, truth be told, Inacio is a hockey fan.
The real action on the field that they come to see is the Purdue “All-American” Marching Band (AAMB) serving up world-class half-time shows. The shows feature Purdue family favorites like the Block “P” formation and beating the Big Bass Drum, along with renditions of the latest hits mixed with nostalgic tunes dear to Boilermaker hearts.
Specifically, the dedicated parents — Inacio, a native of Japan, Andrea from Brazil — are there to see their son, Luciano (Luke) Moriguchi, a senior finishing his degree in industrial engineering, a recipient of a Presidential Scholarship, and a member of the marching band's drumline. As a junior, Luke was the section leader for the cymbal section.
Another Purdue family connection also holds a special significance for the Moriguchi family — Dick and Sandy Dauch.
Before Inacio Moriguchi became the president and chief operations officer at Stant USA Corporation in 2013, he was a vice president of one of the top automotive suppliers in the world for more than 13 years: American Axle & Manufacturing (AAM), the company Dick Dauch co-founded in 1994, where he served as CEO until 2012 and as chairman of the board from 1997 until he passed away at 71 in 2013.
Dick earned a bachelor’s degree from Purdue in industrial management and science in 1964 and played fullback and linebacker for the Boilermakers from 1961 to 1963.
Dick and Sandy have been generous contributors to Purdue for more than 30 years. Their lead gift made the Dick and Sandy Dauch Alumni Center possible and is named in their honor.
Inacio says that, aside from his own father, Dick Dauch was the man whom he most admired.
“Mr. Dauch was my boss, my mentor, and my friend,” Inacio said wistfully.
Dick and Sandy were active in the lives of the Moriguchi children, too, both Luke and Francine Moriguchi, one of Notre Dame Prep’s 2014 valedictorians, who is studying pre-medicine at the University of Michigan.
“He cared about my family. He was like a second father to me. He was also the toughest guy on me. He made me who I am today. He taught me about not only work but life. ‘Make people who work for you feel important,’ he told me. And for me, he did.”
As a valued and trusted colleague, Inacio is mentioned a few times in the book Dauch co-authored, American Drive: How Manufacturing Will Save Our Country in 2012.
Inacio says he wanted Luke to attend Purdue so that he could become a leader like Dick Dauch.
“When Luke was accepted, Mr. Dauch wrote him a beautiful letter that was proudly displayed at Luke’s graduation party. ‘I am so proud of your son,’ he told me.”
In 2016, the Moriguchi family paid homage and respect to the Dauch family by contributing to the Dauch Scholarship Challenge, a $3 million gift from Sandy Dauch and the Dauch Foundation to provide one-to-one matches to donors who fund a scholarship endowment for non-Indiana undergraduate students or students enrolled in one of Purdue's professional programs. An additional $1 million was used as matching funds for scholarships in the School of Nursing for out-of-state students.
The Moriguchi's gift supports Ever True: The Campaign for Purdue University and its priority “Place Students First,” which includes a $400 million to $500 million goal for student support that aims to ensure that a rigorous Purdue education remains affordable and accessible. Of Purdue’s Spring 2016 enrollment of 27,510 undergraduate students, 7,379, or 26.8 percent, are out-of-state students.
Inacio will continue to beat the drum for Purdue after Luke graduates.
“Purdue has been great. Luke has had a wonderful time, and we are very appreciative for everything the band program has done for him. We are happy to contribute to Purdue and the Parent & Family Campaign.”
For the band. For the Dauchs. For Purdue. Loyalty and love—that's what family is all about.