On Wednesday, March 20, the McDermond Center for Management and Entrepreneurship awarded alumnus David Trogden ‘04, Founder of Probo Medical the McDermond Medal of Excellence in Entrepreneurship. Over 120 members gathered in-person, along with 40 alumni via Zoom, to honor and recognize Trogden’s accomplishments and receive his inspirational lecture about leading a value driven life. 

Trogden was recognized for his commitment to entrepreneurship, advising, and investing; he has demonstrated impeccable leadership skills, managed high-growth organizations, hosted countless DePauw student interns at Probo Medical, giving back to the DePauw community. He joined former prestigious honorees, including Executive Vice President of Purdue University Dan Hasler ‘80, CEO of First Internet Bank David Becker ‘75, and last year’s recipient, Founder of Fusion Education Group, the late Peter Ruppert ‘86.

At the age of eighteen, Trogden knew that he wanted to run a business, which he achieved before turning thirty. He opened his lectures, sharing three steps for students to launch their career: learn how they’re uniquely wired, seek potential companies or professionals that align with their values, and talk to people doing what they potentially want to do.

“I promise you: if you could spend one hour a day at this point in your life as an 18 to 22 year-old, five hours a week, you are going to be in the top 1% of your graduating class in terms of opportunities [and] clarity on where you want to go, but you’ve got to do the work,” Trogden said. 

Despite knowing what he wanted to do professionally, Trogden had not defined his core values until the age of forty, and stressed the importance of defining them in college. 

“The values that you most cherish will become the basis for your life,” Trogden said. “If you’re not intentional about what you want to stand for, these [values] are going to get defined for you, and they might get defined for you by your employer, by your peers, by society.”

Trogden successfully retired at 37 but has kept himself busy, traveling across the country with his family in their new RV. He has continued to live by his core values, including sincerity, which reminds him to show up as his authentic self and stay humble. 

Reflecting on his time at DePauw, he shared two main takeaways: embracing leadership opportunities and building relationships. His leadership experience at DePauw gave him the confidence to become a leader later in life. Lastly, he built lifelong friendships and relationships, and ultimately “built [his] business on the back of the DePauw network.”