New Professorship to Emphasize Entrepreneurship
Two East Carolina University alumni are funding a faculty position in the College of Business dedicated to developing future entrepreneurs.
The gift will establish the James W. Chesnutt and David A. Bond Professorship in the Miller School of Entrepreneurship. It will support an associate or full professor who will prepare ECU students to have an entrepreneurial mindset and skillset.
“They (Chesnutt and Bond) saw an opportunity to come together and jointly give the college a gift that reflects a passion for their alma mater, the region and developing future leaders,” said Dr. Stan Eakins, dean of ECU’s College of Business.
Chesnutt and Bond are members of the college’s business advisory council and play an active role in the success of students in and outside the classroom.
“ECU has become a leader in providing both undergraduate and graduate level education in business, in addition to establishing one of the nation’s most successful and highly ranked online business programs. That commitment to leadership in business education continues with a gift from two of our very successful College of Business alumni,” said ECU Chancellor Cecil P. Staton. “Their success as entrepreneurs led to their support for a professorship in entrepreneurship, a gift that will prepare thousands of students to follow their path as successful businesspeople. This generous gift is a powerful testimony to a tradition of ECU alumni helping future alumni, and for that we are very grateful.”
Chesnutt, a 1963 ECU graduate, is CEO and chairman of National Spinning Company in Washington. He said he believes the new professorship will be good for the Miller School, the university and eastern North Carolina. His company has hired several ECU graduates, and all “have been outstanding … the kind of thing that businesses need to see,” he said.
“Graduates of the Miller School will, no doubt, contribute to the creation of new opportunities and creativity for existing businesses,” Chesnutt added. “The talent pool created by the school will add significantly to the ongoing need for growth in the east and throughout North Carolina. I look forward to the naming of an outstanding leader for the professorship for the faculty.”
Bond is the managing partner and co-founder of Raleigh’s Rock Solid Software. He graduated from ECU in 1978 with a degree in marketing. He would like to see the gift used to hire a “very inspirational, motivating professor that will spur on some entrepreneurship for our young students and future leaders.”
“I’m hoping that a lot of those students will stay in or around eastern North Carolina and not venture to Washington, D.C., Atlanta or Charlotte,” said Bond, who, as president and chief operating officer of Allscripts, led the successful acquisitions of Medic Computer and A4 Health Systems. “This part of the state needs these graduates to be the engine of its economy.”
“With this new professorship, we’ll continue to attract and retain the highest quality of faculty to help build the Miller School,” said Dr. Mike Harris, director of the Miller School of Entrepreneurship. “Thanks to Mr. Chesnutt and Mr. Bond for helping to ensure that we have great instruction in the classroom, increased entrepreneurial research and stronger engagement with students, university faculty and our community.”
The Miller School was established in 2015 thanks to a gift by J. Fielding Miller and his wife, Kim Grice Miller.
The Chesnutt and Bond professorship is the second for the Miller School. In total, the College of Business has nine professorships.
“The Miller School is making amazing progress as it looks to increase its engagement within the college and the entire East Carolina University community,” Eakins said. “The new professorship is made possible by Mr. Chesnutt and Mr. Bond’s strong belief in what we’re doing here at the school. Their commitment and gift will strengthen the school’s reputation as the conduit for innovation, leadership and entrepreneurs.”