The estate of the late Ralphs Grocery Co. chief executive Byron Allumbaugh has donated $1 million to establish a scholarship program for students in the USC Marshall School of Business’ food industry leadership program.

Allumbaugh spent more than 20 years from 1976 to 1997 as chairman and chief executive of Ralphs, now a subsidiary of Kroger Co. of Cincinnati, Ohio. He also co-founded the Uniform Code Council, which created the UPC code used by retailers and chaired the California Retail Association from 1986 through 1993. After his retirement, he served on the boards of several local companies and civic organizations. He died in Newport Beach in October 2016, just two weeks shy of his 85th birthday.

During his tenure at Ralphs, Allumbaugh sent many students through the USC Marshall School’s Food Industry Management programs, according to a press release from the Marshall School.

“Byron’s unwavering commitment to training and education, including his support of the prestigious USC Food Industry Management Program, helped Ralphs build a highly respected management team, achieve industry-leading results, and develop many leaders who eventually went on to lead other companies,” Jim Lee, retired food industry executive from Ralphs and Stater Bros. and current professor in the food industry management program, said in the Marshall School press release.

The $1 million gift from the Allumbaugh estate will fund one graduate level scholarship per year for the newly established online Master of Science in food industry leadership at the Marshall School.

“We are profoundly grateful that someone with Byron Allumbaugh’s reputation and prestige in the food industry has chosen to donate to the education of high potential future leaders,” Cynthia McCloud, director of USC Marshall Food Industry Management Programs, said in the Marshall School press release.

Economy, education, energy and transportation reporter Howard Fine can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @howardafine.