Northeastern University formally installed Raj Echambadi as the inaugural Dunton Family Dean of the D’Amore-McKim School of Business on Wednesday night in the Visitor Center.
The Dunton Family Deanship, a gift established by Gary Dunton, DMSB’78, and his wife Lea Anne, is the university’s first endowed deanship, providing a permanent flow of resources that the dean can use to empower the D’Amore-McKim community, as well as support new and existing programs.
“The endowed deanship places the D’Amore-McKim School of Business in the international conversation and will enable us to embark on major strategic initiatives,” said Echambadi, who officially joined Northeastern in August. “Our future is bright and our dreams are big,” he said, “and I’m here today because of all of your support.”
The Duntons have forged many ties to Northeastern. Gary mentors students and is a member of both the Northeastern Corporation and the D’Amore-McKim School of Business Dean’s Executive Council. Lea Anne co-chairs the Parents of Alumni subcommittee and is an advisor to Mosaic, an alliance of student-led organizations that support emerging entrepreneurs. Their daughter Julie graduated from Northeastern in 2015.
“I have every confidence that we will continue to grow and prosper and innovate and attract all the talent we could possibly want,” said Gary Dunton, who received a standing ovation for his family’s gift to Northeastern. “You can count on me to continue to be involved with the school.”
Echambadi brings strong leadership experience and innovative business thinking to the school. He came from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he earned many accolades and served as senior associate dean of strategic innovation and as the Alan J. and Joyce D. Baltz Endowed Professor in the College of Business. He has published many papers in a wide range of top business journals with a research focus on technological entrepreneurship and strategic innovations.
“I am a firm believer in the power of education to transform lives,” said Echambadi. “We in higher education are in the inspiration business.”