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Gonzaga Names Todd Finkle the Pigott Professor in Entrepreneurship

Todd Finkle, Gonzaga's inaugural Pigott Professor in Entrepreneurship. Gonzaga University photo.

SPOKANE, Wash. – Business professor, consultant and speaker Todd Finkle has been named Gonzaga University’s inaugural Pigott Professor in Entrepreneurship, a new permanent endowment established by the Mark Pigott family, whose legacy of support of Gonzaga University spans nearly five decades.

The gift by the Pigott family is a testament to their long-standing commitment to assist men and women in achieving their learning goals. The professorship begins in the current (2010-2011) academic year in the Gonzaga University School of Business Administration. Mark Pigott, chairman and chief executive officer of PACCAR Inc, is a successful industrialist and philanthropist who recognizes the importance of a comprehensive educational program in the development of the next generation of global leaders. PACCAR provided the lead gift for the $8.5 million PACCAR Center for Applied Science at Gonzaga, dedicated in 2008. The PACCAR Center was recently honored with the Gold LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) award for environmental leadership.

The qualifications for this professorship are a proven research and teaching record, and the desire to teach both graduate and undergraduate students. The Pigott Professor also will provide a composite of scholarly intellectual contributions for dissemination among entrepreneurs and academics through published works at both regional and national conferences.

The Pigott family pledged $1.5 million to Gonzaga for this full-time faculty appointment. Endowing the new professorship, Mark Pigott shared, “Gonzaga’s leadership in engineering, business and the liberal arts has enhanced the University’s outstanding reputation as a center of academic excellence. We are proud to partner with the University by establishing this professorship and are pleased that Professor Finkle is the first recipient. His commitment to teaching and research will enhance our students’ experience and contribute to the University’s academic stature.”

Todd Finkle grew up in a family owned business and went on to start three businesses of his own and a nonprofit.  Recently he published an in-depth case study on Warren Buffett’s management of Berkshire Hathaway. This was followed by an invitation from Buffet for Professor Finkle and his 27 students to visit him at Berkshire Hathaway’s global headquarters in Omaha, Neb.

Finkle was recently honored during the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship (USASBE) annual conference, one of the premier conferences for entrepreneurship scholars and educators in the world. He was part of a team that was awarded first place in 2010 for the “Most Innovative Pedagogy for Entrepreneurship Education Award.” The awards were based upon a nonprofit organization called the Entrepreneurship Education Consortium, which Finkle and representatives from six other universities founded in 2007.

Finkle has produced more than 150 papers, presentations and grants related to entrepreneurship. He earned a bachelor’s degree in life sciences from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, an MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a Ph.D. in entrepreneurship/strategic management from University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Professor Finkle said, “Being selected as the inaugural Pigott Professor of Entrepreneurship is the pinnacle of my academic career. I am very excited about further enhancing the reputation of Gonzaga University and making a positive difference in the lives of students. I look forward to building long-lasting relationships with people from the greater community as well. It is my intention to extend creative, entrepreneurial and innovative discourse university-wide. I am a firm believer that those attributes are needed in any successful organization.”

For more information, please contact Clarence Barnes, dean of the School of Business Administration, at (509) 313-5502 or via e-mail. For a photo of Professor Finkle, please contact Peter Tormey at (509) 313-6132 or via e-mail.

  1. Posted October 9, 2010 at 6:00 pm

    Dr. Todd Finkle was absolutely one the best teachers I have ever had. Students will benefit from his experience and outlook on entrepreneurship. If you have the opportunity to take him as a professor I would highly recommend it. Gonzaga is extremely lucky to have him join their staff.

  2. Posted November 16, 2010 at 4:42 pm

    Todd Finkle is not only an excellent educator; he uses his entrepreneurial skills in all facets of life. His willingness to work with students, business, and community alike is unparalleled in my academic experience. Congratulations, Todd! And, moreso, Congratulations to Gonzaga University for garnering such a prized academic and human being.