Sergio Marchionne shaking hands with a studentUWindsor alum Sergio Marchionne, the auto executive credited with saving Fiat and Chrysler, was a friend to the University and its students.

University community mourns death of alum Sergio Marchionne

Sergio Marchionne (BComm 1979, MBA 1983, LLD 2005), the former chief executive officer of Fiat Chrysler, leaves a legacy of business success and support for education, says UWindsor president Douglas Kneale.

Marchionne died Wednesday at the age of 66.

“We are all deeply saddened by the loss of Dr. Marchionne,” Dr. Kneale said.

“Here at the University of Windsor, we are remembering him as an outstanding graduate, a distinguished supporter and friend of the University, and a great mentor to our students.”

Marchionne was named CEO of Fiat SpA in 2004; the company acquired Chrysler in 2014. He is widely credited with saving both automakers. Ill health prompted his exit from corporate leadership over the weekend.

His post-graduate ties to the University included the establishment of the International Master’s in Automotive Engineering program, which enabled students to complete concurrent graduate degrees from UWindsor and Politecnico di Torino in Italy, and regular appearances on campus to mentor students.

In a keynote address at the 2016 Georgie-Odette Leadership Symposium, Marchionne credited his studies at the University of Windsor with launching his career.

“If there’s a high point in my life, it’s the time I spent here,” Marchionne said at the time.

The message that resonated with many UWindsor students was to “stay humble, keep a clean heart” and “don’t be anything other than what you are.”

Campus flags were flown at half-staff in Marchionne’s memory on Wednesday, July 25.

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