Allyn Knoche, at 1956 Purdue graduate living in Arizona, included the university in a 1 percent share of a nickel mine in British Columbia as part of a gift that could produce million of dollars a year over the next three decades and could wind up as the largest cash gift in Purdue's history. The gift, directed by the retired investment adviser to the Krannert School of Management, was announced Friday, Feb. 7, 2019.  Photo provided
Allyn Knoche, at 1956 Purdue graduate living in Arizona, included the university in a 1 percent share of a nickel mine in British Columbia as part of a gift that could produce million of dollars a year over the next three decades and could wind up as the largest cash gift in Purdue's history. The gift, directed by the retired investment adviser to the Krannert School of Management, was announced Friday, Feb. 7, 2019. Photo provided
WEST LAFAYETTE – What has Purdue President Mitch Daniels suddenly watching the commodities market?

How about a new 1 percent stake in a mining operation in British Columbia, a gift from a 1956 Purdue graduate that – if things go well – could wind up being the largest cash gift in the university’s history.

“This is the most interesting, single donation I’ve experienced in seven years here,” Daniels told Purdue trustees Friday, taking a moment during his regular recitation of donations of $1 million or more to highlight a gift from Allyn Knoche, a retired stock broker and investment adviser living in Arizona.

“Using very conservative assumptions – a whole stack of them – we’ve produced a valuation, because we have to produce some sort of valuation, of $9.5 million,” Daniels said. “There’s a slim chance it won’t turn into anything at all. … Who knows? But there’s a very good chance boards will be sitting here, literally, in 10, 20, 30 years, smiling at a very large, annual distribution.”

Knoche, who first approached Purdue two years ago about the gift as a way to say thank you for sparking his interest in finance, said that based on current numbers – and an assumption that the mine starts operating in the next several years – Purdue’s new stake in a mine owned by FPX Nickel, a Vancouver-based company, that could eventually top $100 million over the next three decades.

“That’s what they tell me,” Knoche said about the potential for the largest gift in Purdue history. “By far, if it all works out.”
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