Kellogg Co. Chairman James M. Jenness, a devoted DePaul University alumnus who has remained engaged with his alma mater in a variety of capacities, has been elected to chair DePaul’s Board of Trustees. Jenness, 65, who joined the board in 2002 and has been its vice chair, succeeds Chicago Library Commissioner Mary Dempsey, who completed her three-year term.
“I love DePaul,” Jenness said. “The education and values I received here have been the biggest enablers of my life. DePaul opened possibilities I never dreamed of growing up on the South Side of Chicago.”
The Rev. Dennis H. Holtschneider, C.M., DePaul’s president, respects the experience and perspective Jenness brings to his new role. “Jim understands what it means to be a part of a great company and has distinguished himself on both corporate and nonprofit boards for many years. Most important, he understands how significant DePaul is to Chicago. I’m proud to be working with him.”
Jenness, who also previously served as Kellogg’s CEO, is one of four trustees who oversee the W.K. Kellogg Foundation Trust, one of the world’s largest philanthropic organizations. His association with Kellogg, the world’s largest cereal maker, dates back to 1974.
Jenness is involved in wide-ranging civic and philanthropic interests. He serves on the boards of Kimberly-Clark Corp., the Schwarz Paper Co., Children’s Memorial Hospital and the Mercy Home for Boys and Girls.
Jenness received his bachelor’s degree (cum laude) in marketing from DePaul in 1969 and his MBA, also from DePaul, in 1971. He was awarded a doctor of humane letters from DePaul in 2006, and he has been a member and chairman of the College of Commerce Advisory Council. In 1995, he received the College of Commerce Alumni Award of Merit and currently serves on the trustee steering committee of DePaul’s Many Dreams, One Mission fundraising campaign.
Jenness is an accomplished long-distance runner, having run in the Chicago Marathon each of the past 20 years and often participating alongside DePaul faculty and staff in many other races and marathons. Fr. Holtschneider observed, “I suspect this means I’ll be getting in better shape.”