Altman adds to Miami giving legacy through professorshipAug 03, 2010
Miami University and the Farmer School of Business
have announced the creation of the John W. Altman ('60) Clinical
Professorship in Entrepreneurship through a commitment from Altman, a
distinguished entrepreneur, business executive, educator, and founder of
Miami's entrepreneurship program. When fully funded, Altman's Miami
endowment will total $1.4 million.
The professorship enables the university to attract successful entrepreneurial practitioners into the faculty while providing a permanent source of faculty support for the Thomas C. Page Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, which ranks 15th out of more than 2,300 undergraduate entrepreneurship programs nationally according to Entrepreneur magazine.
Altman’s latest gift builds upon a rich history of support to the university. Among his most generous past gifts are two teaching fellowships within Miami’s Humanities Center and the creation of the Altman Summer Entrepreneurial Internships. His support has left few corners of campus life untouched, impacting the university libraries, art museum, athletic programs, the arts, student scholarships, and a variety of academic departments.
“John’s legacy is that he practices what he preaches,” said Jay Kayne, Cintas Chair and Professor in Entrepreneurship at Miami. “His contribution, not just to Miami but to the field in general, is demonstrating that entrepreneurs haven’t done their jobs until they’ve given back.”
During an entrepreneurial career spanning more than three decades, Altman owned, founded, or was a partner in six businesses, ultimately selling two to multi-national corporations; and he was a senior manager of two multi-national corporations. He also has served on the faculties at Miami University, the University of California-Berkeley, and Babson College.
He returned to Miami in 1992 as the Herbert E. Markley Business Executive in Residence, where, in addition to teaching general business courses, he was charged by James Robeson, then-dean of the Farmer School of Business, with launching Miami’s entrepreneurship program. While the idea of teaching entrepreneurship in the classroom was considered a somewhat revolutionary concept at the time, Altman laid the foundation for a program that today features a focus within the interdisciplinary business management major, a minor, and a thematic sequence, while involving four full-time faculty and more than 300 students.
“The professorship is in honor of the entrepreneurship faculty who came after me,” said Altman. “They’ve taken this program to a place I never envisioned.”
Altman was the inaugural inductee into the Miami University Academy of Entrepreneurs in 2001. He also serves on the Board of Visitors for the Farmer School of Business and on the steering committee for the Miami University Campaign For Love and Honor.
As a faculty member at Miami, Altman earned the Associated Student Government Outstanding Teacher Award in 1994 and the Greek associations’ Outstanding Faculty/Staff Award in 1997.
Altman’s professorship commitment will be matched with a $100,000 contribution from the Miami Matching Initiatives fund, which is advancing a university priority to recruit and retain the next generation of distinguished Miami educators in an increasingly competitive environment. The gift also supports the Miami University Campaign For Love and Honor, a $500 million initiative supporting scholarships, faculty, student-learning opportunities, academic programs, and facilities and grounds.