Trustee Emeritus David Eaton and his wife, Carol, have made a leadership gift to help establish the Eaton Family Chair in Economics and Business at Westmont. Thanks to a significant contribution from the Westmont Board of Advisors and gifts from alumni and friends, the college has raised much of the $1 million goal and expects to complete funding the endowed faculty chair soon.
“The demand for entrepreneurial studies has never been greater,” says President Gayle D. Beebe. “We’re excited about this new position, and we’re recruiting a distinguished, effective leader with business experience and a passion for undergraduate teaching who will strengthen our economics and business program and expand its global focus.”
“We feel privileged to be a part of this exciting effort to support the economics and business department of Westmont,” the Eatons say. “All four of our children graduated from Westmont, and two sons were economics and business majors. We’re confident this will benefit the department — and having our family name identified with the endowment gives us great joy.”
Business continues to rank among the top five subjects high school students want to study, with the most popular topic being entrepreneurship and business ownership. As a result, Westmont plans to establish a center to study entrepreneurship, the ethics of enterprise, and effective management in an environment of technological change and innovation.
The college is recruiting a professor to hold the Eaton Family Chair. This person will be involved with the new center and help Westmont make a significant contribution in three areas: creating new ventures and jobs and focusing on social entrepreneurship; joining Christian principles with a spirit of entrepreneurship; and offering economics and business courses and programs for students in all disciplines.
David Eaton became a Westmont trustee in 1977 and served for 30 years on the board, including six years (2001-2007) as chairman. He graduated from Wheaton College in Illinois and received his law degree from Stanford University. After working in corporate business law, he began a career developing and managing extensive properties in Colorado and Arizona. He is a partner in Douglas Ranch El Dorado LLC and in JDM Partners LLC. He was also a general partner of the Phoenix Suns and the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Carol Eaton attended Westmont, graduated from Wheaton College in Illinois and earned a master’s degree in theology from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, Calif. She is the past CEO of Eaton Designs, a high-end, handmade rug manufacturing company that operated a production facility in Haiti, and she serves on the National Trustee Board of Young Life.
Formed in 1995, Westmont’s Board of Advisors is a group of Westmont alumni and other experienced business executives who serve the college on a volunteer basis. The board advises the president on a variety of matters, including the economics and business program.