Major gift leads to endowed chair, center for business excellence

University of Detroit Mercy’s College of Business Administration (CBA) will have a new endowed chair thanks to a major gift from the estate of an alumnus.

Arnold Jarboe ’54 graduated from the College of Business Administration and worked for the Social Security Administration and practiced law. When he died in 2016, Jarboe left a bequest in excess of $6 million to establish the Arnold Jarboe Chair in Business Administration in the CBA.

“Mr. Jarboe’s extraordinary generosity expresses his boundless appreciation and affection for the University that prepared him for a lifetime of success and happiness,” said Detroit Mercy President Antoine M. Garibaldi, Ph.D. “His gift ensures that the College of Business Administration will prepare more young business leaders to receive an exceptional education, as it did for him, firmly rooted in the Jesuit and Mercy values of Detroit Mercy.”

Joseph G. Eisenhauer, dean of the College of Business Administration, has appointed Evan A. Peterson ’06, ’09, a lecturer in Business Law, to serve as the first Jarboe Chair.

“I am deeply grateful to Arnold Jarboe for his remarkable estate gift to the College of Business Administration and profoundly honored to have been chosen for this prestigious appointment,” Peterson said. “Through this gift, the College of Business Administration will continue to enhance its reputation as a leader in providing students with innovative, cutting-edge business programs.”

Evan Peterson
Evan Peterson

Peterson holds B.S., J.D., and MBA degrees from Detroit Mercy, and a Ph.D. in Management from Walden University. A licensed attorney who has practiced law in Michigan, Peterson also serves as director of Undergraduate Business Programs and co-director of the Honors Program. Since joining the University fulltime in 2014, he has helped create a minor and a concentration in Business Law, and published more than a dozen scholarly articles in professional journals.

The Jarboe Chair will become part of the CBA’s planned Center for Practice & Research in Management & Ethics; Peterson will be the center’s director. Eisenhauer said Jarboe had a particular interest in ethics, practical experience and the study of management. This center of excellence — which will be known as the PRIME Center — reflects a dedication to quality that Jarboe supported and for which the University is known.

“Through the PRIME Center, we will offer our students expanded opportunities to engage in experiential learning, to interact with leading thinkers in the business community, and to participate in research involving real-world business problems,” Peterson said. “I remain ever grateful for the opportunity to support the College of Business Administration, a Catholic business school operating in the Jesuit and Mercy traditions, in its mission to prepare the next generation of business leaders.”

Eisenhauer said these initiatives will be strong complements to existing programs.

“Our graduate and undergraduate Management programs are consistently ranked among the nation’s top 25 by U.S. News & World Report, and our Business Ethics courses are taught by one of the founders of the field,” Eisenhauer said. “Under the direction of the Jarboe Chair, the activities of the PRIME Center will expand both academic and professional opportunities for students, and ensure that we maintain our leadership position both regionally and nationally in management and ethics.”

Details of the center are being developed and a formal announcement is expected later this year. Included in those plans are a speaker series to bring well-known leaders to campus, a student-run research journal and other initiatives that adhere to the Jesuit and Mercy mission of the University.

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