New Chair Supports Entrepreneurship

John and Joan Schoen have made a major gift commitment to the College of Commerce to create a new professorship in accountancy.

To be launched with annual contributions and secured by a deferred endowment, the John A. Schoen Endowed Chair in Accountancy will support a faculty member whose research specialty is in entrepreneurship. The endowment thus reflects the varied and distinguished career of Schoen himself, who graduated from Commerce in 1953 with a B.S. in accountancy. Joan Schoen, also a member of the Illinois Class of 1953, holds a B.S. in home economics.
As chairman and founder of The Metrix Company, John Schoen built his Dubuque firm from a start-up into a producer of disposable medical devices with $25 million in sales — an achievement that crowns a career which also included work with NCR, a stint in the spice business, and fertilizer sales. "I was never really an accountant — I've mostly been a salesman and businessman," Schoen (pronounced "Shane") told InSight. "Entrepreneurship did well by me." A long-time supporter of Illinois, including the Commerce Investors in Business Education Fund, Schoen returned to campus last summer and, during his visit, addressed a class of freshmen who had newly entered the Project Discovery program. "I've always had a real good feeling about Illinois," he said. "Everybody changes a great deal between the ages of seventeen and twenty-two. Illinois influenced that change a lot for me. It was a time to grow and learn, and it was very important in my life." Joan and John Schoen

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