The Paul Merage School of Business at UC Irvine has received an endowment gift of $6.6 million from The Beall Family Foundation. Don Beall is a former chief executive officer of Rockwell International Corp. The gift will expand current activities and launch new programs at the Merage School’s re-named Don Beall Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. One of the new programs will be “open source” studies on innovation that will appear on the Merage School Web site.

Merage School Dean Andy Policano notes that Beall’s leadership at Rockwell International for 30 years – he is now retired – exemplifies how business leaders use strategic innovation to help their companies succeed in the face of global competition. He spoke with Don Beall.
Why did your family make this generous gift?

We want to help UC Irvine reach its full potential as a catalyst for economic growth in Orange County and the region. Innovation is a core strength of our economy. The campus plays a critical role through leadership in business education in all its schools and disciplines. I believe the Merage School’s Beall Center will be a critical part of that leadership process.
Describe the “open source” program your gift supports.

The center will collect and organize current research on innovation around the world to help businesses, the academic world and community groups understand opportunities and problems of innovation. Once collected, this research will be made public on the center’s Web site. The Merage School is a pioneer in this endeavor.
Will your family gift benefit other programs?

It will support the Beall Center’s colloquia series that brings scholars and business leaders to campus to discuss innovation. This group will do a groundbreaking study on innovation. The gift also will enhance other projects in innovation and help provide faculty and administrative personnel for the center.
What has the center done up to now?

It holds six seminars a year on the “Art and Science of Innovation,” presented by business executives and faculty from around the country. The center manages an annual business plan competition for students throughout the campus. I heard that 45 teams entered this spring’s competition. The center helps Merage students compete in other events. It provides skills workshops for students and a counseling program by retired executives known as SCORE.
How have you helped other programs at UC Irvine?

I have volunteered management assistance to the Merage School as a member of the Dean’s Advisory Board and Executive Committee, and with The Henry Samueli School of Engineering, the Beall Center for Art and Technology within the Claire Trevor School of the Arts, the UCI Chief Executive Roundtable and the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology, a joint venture with UC San Diego.