James Easton, who heads sports equipment company Jas. D. Easton Inc., has given $2 million to the UCLA Anderson School of Management, following his gifts in 2008 and 2009 that established the Easton Technology Leadership Program at the school, UCLA Anderson dean Judy Olian announced.
The current gift will be used to grow the Easton program, which focuses on the specific managerial and leadership needs of students with backgrounds and interests in engineering and technology.
"The Easton Technology Leadership Program develops science, engineering and IT professionals into leaders of technical teams and organizations," Olian said. "No other business school has a program tailored to address this vital need. This immensely successful program would not have been possible without the extraordinary generosity of Jim Easton, whose business experiences and vision were essential in shaping the program. The second gift enables us to extend the program's impact and scale. Without Jim, there would be no program."
The Easton Technology Leadership Program offers innovative elective courses and case studies that prepare M.B.A. graduates to succeed in diverse technical environments. It draws heavily on the expertise of faculty in operations and technology management, as well as on seasoned industry professionals who bring their experiences into the classroom. Adjunct faculty with industry backgrounds teach in the program and assist in its design.
"UCLA has been a big part of my life since my time as an undergraduate, and John Anderson was a personal mentor of mine, so I saw UCLA Anderson as the perfect place to help tackle the problem of raising leaders who are as savvy about science and technology as they are about business and management," Easton said.
"As we've started putting the pieces of the Easton Technology Leadership Program into place, we've realized even more how visionary Jim's gift was," said Charles Corbett, faculty director of the program and a UCLA Anderson professor of decisions, operations and technology management. "The feedback we have received from students and from the many industry leaders who act as mentors or speakers in the program has been encouraging. We're delighted that we can continue to build on the strong foundation that Jim helped us lay, and we look forward to continuing to grow the program."
Easton, who received his bachelor's degree in engineering from UCLA in 1959, is chairman and CEO of Jas. D. Easton Inc., a privately owned manufacturer, marketer and distributor of archery and other sports equipment. A member of UCLA Anderson's board of visitors since 1988, he has been a generous benefactor to both the UCLA Anderson and the university. In recognition of his generosity, he was named one of the founding members of Entrepreneur's Hall at UCLA Anderson in 2005.
The UCLA Anderson School of Management is among the leading business schools in the world. UCLA Anderson faculty members are globally renowned for their teaching excellence and research in advancing management thinking. Each year, UCLA Anderson provides a distinctive approach to management education to more than 1,800 students enrolled in its M.B.A., fully-employed M.B.A., executive M.B.A., global executive M.B.A. for Asia Pacific, global executive M.B.A. for the Americas, master of financial engineering, doctoral and executive education programs. Combining selective admissions, varied and innovative learning programs, and a worldwide network of 37,000 alumni, UCLA Anderson develops and prepares global leaders. (Follow UCLA Anderson on Twitter and on Facebook.)