Cedarville University received the largest financial commitment in its 132-year history on Friday, October 4, when Mark Scharnberg, a 1997 graduate, on behalf of his family and Katecho and Surmasis Pharmaceuticals of Des Moines, Iowa, pledged $10 million in honor of his father, Lorne C. Scharnberg, a faithful dad, beloved grandparent, innovative business owner, and tireless advocate for Cedarville.
I was privileged to announce the gift as a surprise to Lorne Scharnberg during my annual State of the University chapel address in the Dixon Ministry Center on October 4. Lorne was in attendance to receive Cedarville’s prestigious Medal of Honor, celebrating his significant contributions to the institution and his 25 years of service on the Cedarville Board of Trustees. Lorne is just the 14th recipient of the medal, the last recipient being Rev. Franklin Graham, president of Samaritan’s Purse and son of the late Billy Graham, in 2012.
Following the awarding of the Medal of Honor, I was able to reveal the $10 million gift and announce that the new business building — one of six major building projects in the University’s 10-year campus master plan — would be named in honor of Lorne Scharnberg.
Our new School of Business Administration building will be named the Lorne C. Scharnberg Business Center. For years to come, there will be a stone of remembrance on this campus to celebrate all that Lorne and his family have done to further the mission and vision of Cedarville University. For years to come, future generations of business leaders will be trained to use their gifts for God’s glory, the good of mankind and for their joy.
“My father is passionate about Cedarville’s vision to transform lives for the Word of God and the Testimony of Jesus Christ,” said Mark. “What an honor to be a part of providing a facility that will equip future business owners, entrepreneurs, and professionals to use their career as a platform for ministry. This is how my father has lived his life, and we are thrilled to continue his legacy through this gift to Cedarville.”
Lorne served three terms as Chair of the Board and one year as Vice-Chair. He joined the board in 1994 and served until moving to emeritus status in 2018. In 2007, Lorne was recognized as the Honorary Alumnus of the Year for his faithful service to Cedarville. He has also served on the Business Advisory Council for the School of Business Administration (SBA) and was named the 2005-06 executive-in-residence of the SBA.
Lorne and his late wife, Kathi, founded Katecho, Inc., a medical manufacturing business and a world leader in the manufacturing of hydrogel, in 1984. They also started Surmasis Pharmaceuticals, a contract pharmaceutical manufacturer. Kathi served the company as its Chief Financial Officer until her passing in February 2018. Lorne remains the Chief Executive Officer for Katecho.