October 29, 2012
The Orange County Register
By MARY ANN MILBOURN
Cal State Fullerton has launched a campaign to raise a $1 million endowment for its economic-forecasting work and received its first donation, $500,000, from a business school alumnus, the university announced Thursday.
“Anything I can do to increase the visibility of the school, I’ll try to do it,” said Jim Woods, who with his wife, Jeanette, made the donation.
Jim Woods is a 1967 graduate of the CSUF business school who went on to become chief executive of Baker International Corp., an oil equipment and services firm then based in Orange. Baker merged with Hughes Tool Co. in 1987, and Woods became CEO of the combined company, Baker Hughes Inc., which is headquartered in Houston. He retired in 1997.
Woods said he made the donation because he knows the financial pressures California public universities face and hopes the money will encourage others to support the business school.
“I know they are hurting,” he said. “We talked about this donation, and I think it’s a good start. We’ll see how it plays out.”
Anil Puri, dean of CSUF’s Mihaylo College of Business and Economics, announced the Woods’ gift at the school’s economic-forecast presentation Thursday.
He said the endowment will pay for research work done by graduate students and faculty on economic forecasts and on issues of regional economic concern. Because state funding isn’t available for these kinds of programs, he said, the school is turning to the private sector for support.