Gregory Sissel ‘94: From DePauw Student to Board of Trustees Chair-Elect

Greg Sissel '94 serves as the Chair-Elect for DePauw's Board of Trustees

30 years after graduation, Gregory Sissel ‘94 felt like an undergraduate again as he joined the commencement of the Class of 2024. As the upcoming chairperson for DePauw’s Board of Trustees, he envisions a future where the university becomes one of the top 25 liberal arts institutions in the nation.

On June 3, DePauw University announced the appointment of Greg Sissel ‘94 as the Chair-Elect of the university’s Board of Trustees in their recent news: “Sissel, a distinguished alumnus and Managing Director at Platte River Equity, will assume the role in 2025, succeeding the current Chair, Doug I. Smith ‘85.”

Sissel holds an influential stance with his career in finance and private equity investing. He co-founded Platte River Equity, a Colorado-based industrial-focused private equity firm specializing in Aerospace & Defense. His previous roles include positions at Vestar Capital Partners, William Blair Capital Partners and Goldman Sachs. Sissel holds an MBA from Stanford University and graduated as summa cum laude from DePauw University.

Reflecting on his time at DePauw, Sissel described his experience as “extraordinarily positive.” According to Sissel, the university's size allowed him to be tightly involved on campus through diverse activities that significantly shaped his life. 

Besides being on the men’s swimming team, majoring in Economics, and minoring in German, Sissel also worked as an Admissions Liaison and at WGRE. He mentioned how an off-campus semester at Oxford had given him such memorable experiences and broadened his academic perspective. Moreover, the  Management Fellows program was among the most impactful milestones that set a robust foundation for his career. 

Sissel's extracurricular involvements fueled his deep love for DePauw. The opportunities that he was introduced to at the university not only shaped his professional path but also instilled in him a profound appreciation for the liberal arts education. 

"I’m a big believer in the value of a liberal arts education," Sissel remarked, reflecting on how his undergraduate years benefitted his critical thinking and adaptability. "It made me more intellectually curious and a better problem-solver."As the Chair of the Board of Trustees in 2025, Sissel aims to develop these critical skills among students and alumni to help them in their careers and lives.

Sissel's contribution to DePauw's Board of Trustees spans over a decade, including serving on the Board of Visitors from 2009 to 2012. He has held several key roles within the Board of Trustees, including Chair of the Business and Financial Affairs Committee since 2022, the National Campaign Committee and the Presidential Search Committee. 

In his conversation with The DePauw, Sissel shared that his initial reaction to being elected Chair was one of apprehension. At first, he worried because the role requires significant commitment. It was Sissel's wife and daughter who encouraged him to take on the role, saying, "Why not?" They knew how much he had devoted to DePauw. 

With his family’s trust and support, Sissel decided to give the role a try, using all his experience and enthusiasm to make DePauw better. As Sissel prepares to take on the role of Chair in 2025, his primary goal is addressing the competitive market for students and the evolving landscape of liberal arts education. "We need to differentiate DePauw to attract students who are considering many options," he explained. Sissel believes in the immense importance of teaching critical skills that prepare students for a range of careers, not just a specific job. 

An essential part of Sissel’s leadership will be supporting President White in executing her strategic plan to elevate DePauw. Sissel emphasized his role as a core supporter, working closely with the university's administration, faculty and staff to achieve these goals. "I have trust in President White's ability to grow DePauw," Sissel shared. "When I was on the Presidential Search Committee, I saw her potential and believed she was a great fit for the school. Her vision and leadership are exactly what DePauw needs."

In DePauw’s latest press release, President White expressed confidence in Sissel’s leadership: "Greg’s appointment as chair-elect is a testament to his exceptional leadership and dedication to DePauw. His deep commitment to liberal arts education combined with his background and expertise in the factors that influence organizational success will be invaluable as we navigate the exciting opportunities ahead for DePauw."

Looking forward to the future of DePauw, Sissel is “extremely excited and optimistic,” emphasizing his eagerness to work with President White, her staff and the faculty. His extensive experience and impactful initiatives will guide his future leadership of the Board of Trustees to advance DePauw's mission and growth.