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UA College of Business gets $10 million donation

By Anthony C. Braza
Arizona Daily Wildcat
May 4, 1999
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Ian C. Mayer
Arizona Daily Wildcat

Mark Zupan, dean of the UA's College of Business and Public Administration, stands in front of a miniature billboard, made as a gift for Karl Eller. Eller and his wife Stevie made a $10 million pledge to the college's general endowment fund.

A recent $10 million gift to the UA College of Business and Public Administration could result in the second name change of a university college within a year.

University of Arizona alumnus Karl Eller and his wife Stevie committed to donating the money to the university business college, increasing their total contributions since 1983 to $23 million.

Mark Zupan, dean of the college, said yesterday he was proposing changing the name to the Eller College of Business and Public Administration in honor of the couple's continued support.

"I am meeting on Thursday with faculty and staff to propose naming the entire college after (them)," Zupan said.

When asked about the possible name change during an interview last night, Karl Eller seemed unmoved.

"That is up to the university," said Eller, who graduated from the business college in 1952. "We are very proud to do it."

The UA College of Law was renamed the James E. Rogers College of Law in November after Rogers, owner of Sunbelt Communications and KVBC-TV in Las Vegas, increased his donation to the law school from $20 million to $50 million in September.

Rogers increased his donation again in December, bringing the total amount to $115 million.

UA President Peter Likins said he agrees with the recommended name change.

"He has my support," Likins said about Zupan. "Karl Eller is widely regarded as a role model in the business community."

Zupan said the Ellers did not put any limits on how their new donation can be used, except that it must "help build and improve the reputation of the college."

Karl Eller, owner of Eller Media Co., and his wife also donated $10 million in 1997, which was earmarked for the Karl Eller Center, home of the UA's entrepreneurial program.

The first $3 million donation from the couple was used to construct the college's building and to develop the entrepreneurial program.

Zupan said the most recent donation would be added to the college's general endowment. He said the college's staff and faculty would be consulted before decisions are made about where the money will be routed.

"We will try to lay ground work for the long-term viability of the college," Zupan said.

Final approval of the renaming of a college must come from the Arizona Board of Regents.

Zupan said he is currently in a "recommendation stage" for the proposed name change. He plans on consulting with faculty and staff before making a final proposal.

Neither Likins or Zupan could say when a recommendation will be presented to the regents.

Likins said Zupan has met with an advisory committee but still plans to meet with other factions, including alumni, faculty and local business people.