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Beall family grants $6.6 million to UC Irvine’s Merage Business School


The University of California, Irvine today announced that its Paul Merage School of Business has received an endowment gift of $6.6 million from The Beall Family Foundation. Donald R. Beall is a former chief executive officer of Rockwell International Corporation.

The gift will expand current activities and launch new programs of the Merage School’s Don Beall Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. One of the new programs will be “open source” studies on innovation that will appear on the Merage School Web site. The Beall Center will synthesize and organize current research around the globe to help businesses, the academic world and community groups understand common problems of innovation.

The donation will help support the Beall Center’s year-old colloquia series that brings scholars and business leaders to campus to discuss innovation. It also will enhance other projects in innovation and help provide faculty and administrative personnel for the center. (For more details, see About the Beall Center at the end of the news release.)

“It is important for UC Irvine to reach its full potential as a catalyst for economic growth in Orange County and the surrounding region,” Beall said. “The campus plays a critical role through leadership in business education in all its schools and disciplines. I believe this center is a critical part of that leadership process.”

Merage School Dean Andy Policano said the Beall family’s gift will have a long-range impact on the study of innovation and is “a fitting legacy to Beall as an innovative and transformative business leader.”

“Our focus on strategic innovation as a driver of sustainable business growth has just taken a giant leap forward, thanks to the Beall family’s extraordinary gift,” Policano said. “They have consistently given generous gifts designed to make significant impacts on people and programs. With this very important donation, Don and his family will ignite the effort to study the process of innovation and help the Merage School become an open source of information on this vital topic.”

“Innovation is a core strength of our economy,” Beall said. “America’s success depends on ensuring that innovation and entrepreneurship continue to be nurtured and exploited. The Merage School is poised to be an influential regional and national presence in both.”

Policano noted that Beall’s leadership at Rockwell International exemplifies how business leaders use strategic innovation to achieve increasingly successful results in the face of global competition.

“Don’s career at Rockwell – as he guided the company to new levels of growth, financial strength and focus – is a textbook example of strategic innovation based on the forces and competitive trends that faced the company,” Policano said. “I can’t think of anyone better suited to help the Merage School become the most important source of information and research on innovation.”

Don Beall retired from Rockwell in 1998 after a 30-year career. He served as president of the company for 10 years and then served as chairman/CEO for the next 10 years. Under his leadership, Rockwell became a global leader in aerospace, electronics and automotive markets. Through a series of strategic actions, the company became focused on a diversified group of electronics businesses serving factory automation, communications, avionics and various communications-semiconductor world markets. Those electronics businesses today are represented by six public companies through which significant shareowner value has been created. The stock received by the Rockwell shareowner from these actions has increased in value from 1979 until June 2007 at a compounded annual rate of nearly 16 percent, including reinvested dividends.

Beall believes very strongly in the value of higher education as crucial to the innovation and entrepreneurial process leading to a stronger America.

Beall serves as a director on the boards of Rockwell Collins, Conexant Systems, Mindspeed Technologies and CT Realty. He is a former director of Jazz Semiconductors, Skyworks Solutions, Proctor and Gamble, Amoco, Rockwell and Times Mirror. Currently, he is a partner in Dartbrook Partners (a family partnership) and the chairman of The Beall Family Foundation. His wife, Joan, and their two sons, Jeff and Ken, are active in the management of both Dartbrook Partners and The Beall Family Foundation. He is an overseer of Hoover Institution at Stanford and has received many honors including the Horatio Alger award.

Beall has volunteered his expertise to UC Irvine’s Merage School, The Henry Samueli School of Engineering, the Beall Center for Art and Technology within the Claire Trevor School of the Arts, the UCI Chief Executive Roundtable and the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology. The latter is a joint research activity of UCI and University of California, San Diego. Beall is a former trustee of the California Institute of Technology. An alumnus of San Jose State University, Beall earned his B.S. in metallurgical engineering in 1960. He earned an M.B.A. with honors from the University of Pittsburgh in 1961. He also is involved in numerous professional, educational, public service and philanthropic endeavors.


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