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Birck, Michael J., 1938-2015



  • Existence: January 25, 1938 - July 6, 2015

Biographical Information

Birck grew up on a small farm in west central Indiana outside of the town of Clinton. He was born in Missoula, Montana. He grew up in Clinton, Indiana from the age of eight on. He received his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Purdue in 1960. He attended Newark University and received his master's degree in electrical engineering in 1962. He co-founded a public company called Tellabs Inc. with two other colleagues. From 1975-2000 he was the president and CEO of Tellabs, and became chairman. From 2002-2004, he became the CEO again. In 1999, he was appointed to the Board of Trustees as a replacement. He served on the Purdue University Board of Trustees from 1999-2013. He was a life member of the Purdue Alumni Association. Other Purdue affiliations include director and member of the Executive committee of the Purdue Research Foundation; life member of the President's Council; member of the Senior Dean's Advisory Council of the Krannert School of Management. The Birck Nanotechnology Center was named after Micheal and Katherine (Kay) Birck from Hinsdale, Illinois. Birck donated $30 million towards the building.


Mike Birck, revered CoE alum and benefactor, dies a 77. Accessed March 22, 2019.


MSO 1, Purdue University Archives and Special Collections Oral History Program collection, Purdue University Archives and Special Collections, Purdue University Libraries.