Providing a Professorship


The Crown and Goodman families of Chicago have added another level to their support of the university with the creation of the Lester Crown University Professorship in Ethics, established with a $2-million gift to Duke. Duke's university professorships are endowed professorial chairs intended for scholars distinguished by their ability to transcend disciplines. Holders of the chairs are role models for undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral participants in Duke's University Scholars program. The positions also encourage interdisciplinary intellectual growth at the university.

Like the previously endowed Crown Lecture in Ethics, the professorship is named for Lester Crown, the son of Chicago industrialist Henry Crown, and father of a generation of philanthropists and business and civic leaders. Several members of the Crown family have been and are still active leaders at Duke. Steve and Nancy Crown served as co-chairs of the Duke Parents' Committee Class of 2000 from 1996 to 1998 and as national co-chairs of the Duke Parents' Committee from 1998 to 2000. Their son, Keating Crown '00, graduated last spring. Lester Crown's son-in-law is Gunnar Peterson '85, and a daughter-in-law is Paula Hannaway Crown '80; both are active Duke volunteers. Paula Crown serves on the steering committee for the Campaign for Duke and on the board of visitors of Duke's Trinity College of Arts and Sciences.

"Ethics has become a core concept in all academic disciplines," says Steve Crown on behalf of the family. "We hope that the Lester Crown Chair in Ethics will bring new insights and perspectives to this complex issue." Lester Crown is the patriarch of a family business that grew from the small sand-and- gravel company started by his father and uncles to become the Material Service Corp., which merged with General Dynamics in 1959. He is a member of the boards of many businesses and civic organizations, including the Maytag Corp., General Dynamics, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Children's Memorial Hospital, and Northwestern University. Crown and his wife, Renée, are the parents of seven children and grandparents of twenty-two. Charles Goodman has been a financial adviser to the Crown business interests for some fifty years. Married to Lester Crown's cousin, Suzanne, the M.I.T. engineering graduate has been instrumental in managing and expanding Crown corporate assets.



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