Informant brings story to WU

Lauren Eckert

Washburn Student Government Association is bringing Mark Whitacre, the inspiration for blockbuster hit “The Informant” to campus as part of the WSGA lecture series on Oct. 16.

Whitacre, an Ivy League Ph.D., was the highest executive of a Fortune 500 company to turn whistleblower. Whitacre then worked undercover with the FBI for three years, helping to uncover one of the largest price-fixing cases in history.

After his undercover tenure was complete, Whitacre served eight and a half years in federal prison for fraud and embezzlement that occurred during his stint with the FBI. Despite the prison sentence, the FBI declares Whitacre a national hero for his assistance with one of the biggest white-collar cases to ever be uncovered.

Whitacre’s story was the inspiration for the film “The Informant,” which was recently released in theaters. Actor Matt Damon plays the role of Whitacre, telling the story of Whitacre’s involvement in the scandal’s reveal.

Students attending the lecture will hear how Whitacre’s story is an important personal and business ethics lesson about doing the right thing, overcoming adversity and redemption.

After Whitacre was released from prison, he was reunited with his family and quickly hired as an executive back to his roots in the biotechnology industry. In less than two years, he was promoted to COO and President of the company.

The lecture will be in the Washburn Room of Memorial Union at 6 p.m. and is open to the public.