In Memoriam: Charles D. Martin

A member of Chapman University’s Board of Trustees for nearly 30 years, Chuck Martin passed away March 28. He was 80.

Twyla and Charles Martin

Together with his wife Twyla, Martin was a longtime benefactor of an array of programs at the University. In 2013, the couple served as gala chairs for the signature gala fundraising event now known as Chapman Celebrates. They also were faithful supporters of Dodge College of Film and Media Arts, endowing the Twyla Reed Martin Dean’s Chair held by Bob Bassett.

During his widely successful business career, Martin was chairman and CEO of Mont Pelerin Capital, an equities hedge fund, and also was the founder and manager of two notable investment firms, Enterprise Partners, which became the largest venture capital firm based in Southern California, and Westar Capital, founded with fellow trustee George Argyros.

Martin’s business acumen greatly benefited Chapman, and during his tenure on the Board of Trustees’ Investment Committee, the size of the University’s endowment doubled.

He also served on the boards of more than 40 public and private companies as well as the boards of several charitable organizations, among them the Orange County Museum of Art and the Graduate School of Management and Irvine Foundation  at UC Irvine.

In addition, Martin was the author of numerous publications and several books, including 2016’s Orange County, Inc., The Evolution of an Economic Powerhouse.

Chapman President Daniele Struppa called Martin “a dear friend,” adding that “my debt to him is immense, and so is my sadness.”

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