Business Dean Announces $1 Million Endowment Campaign
Oct. 25, 2012
Cal State Fullerton Mihaylo College of Business and Economics Dean Anil Puri today announced the kickoff of a $1 million endowment campaign to support and sustain the college's annual economic forecast and analysis.
Puri announced the campaign and — its very first pledge — at the 18th annual Economic Forecast Conference sponsored by CSUF's Mihaylo College of Business and Economics and the Orange County Business Council.
"We are pleased and honored that an alumnus has come forward with a pledge of $500,000," he said, before asking James D. Woods, chairman emeritus and former CEO of Baker Hughes Inc., to stand and be recognized. The pledge was made by Woods and his wife, Jeanette, longtime CSUF supporters. "And we are looking to all of you to help us match Jim's gift," Puri said to the more than 800 business, community and government leaders in attendance.
Woods, a 1967 business administration alumnus, is among a group of early Cal State Fullerton graduates who began their careers while attending the university. He enrolled at CSUF in 1960 — the first year classes were offered on the permanent campus — attending night classes while working at Baker International. He moved up the corporate ladder at Baker, becoming president, chief operating officer and director in 1985.
In 1987, he became the company's CEO and presided over the merger of Baker International and Hughes Tool Co., described as two giants in the oil-service industry. He was voted chairman of the board for Baker Hughes Inc. in 1989, and a year later, acted to acquire Eastman Christensen and ChemLink. He retired in 1997 and has since been named to a number of corporate boards. In 1980, Woods was honored with the Alumni Association's Distinguished Alumni Award, and in 2000, he was recognized anew at the university's Vision & Visionaries gala.
"My career wouldn't have been possible without the CSU system," noted Woods in 2006, when he was awarded an honorary doctorate of humane letters in recognition of his success as a business leader and philanthropist. "It paved the way. I am truly indebted."
Woods serves as a member of Mihaylo College of Business and Economics' Dean's Advisory Board, and in recognition of the couple's support of the college, his name graces the grand foyer of Mihaylo Hall.
Puri noted that the annual forecast was launched in 1992 by a former associate, Stewart Long, emeritus professor of economics.
By: Pamela McLaren, 657-278-4852