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Chapman Announces $1 Million Gift from Doy Henley for Innovation

At Chapman University’s annual Winterfest holiday celebration on Nov. 29, the man who founded the beloved event gave his newest gift to Chapman.

At the event, Chapman unveiled a $1 million gift from Board of Trustees Chairman Emeritus Doy Henley that will endow a fund for strategic innovation initiatives at the Argyros College of Business and Economics.

Doy Henley receives the Presidential Medal.
Chapman University Board of Trustees Chairman Emeritus Doy Henley receives the Presidential Medal Nov. 15.

“During the past several decades, our alumni have been thriving in the business community and increasingly taking on positions of leadership within various companies and organizations,” said Henley, who owned several manufacturing companies. “I’m proud to support our students and Dean Henrik Cronqvist as the Argyros College continues towards its goal of becoming a Top 50 business school.”

New innovation initiatives will help Argyros continue to distinguish itself and reach the Top 50, Cronqvist said.

“The new fund will support new and innovative research our faculty is doing and help students accelerate their careers,” he said.

Argyros’ new Leadership Crisis Challenge and enhanced Career Scholars Program are examples of recent innovations, he said. The career program provides individualized coaching and mentoring to help students accelerate their careers. Faculty support includes the resources to publish research in top academic journals and sending faculty to present at conferences.

“Doy’s visionary leadership and generosity have, in many ways, shaped our university, and this new gift will keep Chapman at the vanguard of universities that meet the needs of businesses now and into the future,” said President Daniele C. Struppa, who awarded Henley the Presidential Medal, Chapman’s highest honor, on Nov. 15.

Henley was the medal’s 14th recipient in Chapman’s history.

“Your impact has reached every corner of our campuses,” Struppa said at the Nov. 15 dinner honoring Henley. “Truly, Chapman would not be what it is today if not for you, Doy. You have worked tirelessly to help make this great university what it is today, and you continue to inspire all of us for what we can achieve in the future.”

Henley’s gift supporting innovation is important because it helps Chapman stay on top of emerging industries, Cronqvist said.

“Data analytics, machine learning, AI — those subjects are baked into some of our classes,” he said.

Cronqvist added that Henley has been an invaluable advisor to him.

“I can pick his brain on different decisions we’re making and he’s always willing to give his time,” he said.

Henley, who grew up in modest circumstances, moved from Illinois to California in the mid-1950 with his wife Dee after seeing an ad for jobs in the state. Henley owned Aeromil Aircraft Engineering, which pioneered a manufacturing method to machine special surfaces in aerospace products. He also owned Cox Hobbies, one of the earliest companies to use electronic data for supply chain management.

The Henleys became supporters of Chapman in the 1980s through Doy’s friend George Argyros. Doy Henley joined the Board of Trustees in 1986 and served on every committee. He was chairman of the board from 2013 to 2015. He received the C.C. Chapman Distinguished Service Award for his leadership and the couple’s philanthropy.

That philanthropy includes the Doy B. Henley Chair in American Presidential Studies, the Doy and Dee Henley Chair and Distinguished Professor of Jurisprudence, Henley Hall, the Doy and Dee Henley Reading Room in Leatherby Libraries, Dee’s Garden of the Senses at Fish Interfaith Center and Doy’s Holiday Tree Lighting at Winterfest.

The gift bolsters Chapman’s strategic plan goal to raise $500 million through its Inspire campaign. More than $360 million has been raised.

“We’re so grateful that Doy’s continued commitment and entrepreneurial spirit will impact innovation at Chapman in perpetuity,” said campaign co-chair Jim Mazzo.

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