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Goodwin gives $1 million to Monmouth College

Barry McNamara
01/25/2012
Kevin Goodwin, president and CEO of the medical technology company SonoSite, Inc., and a 1980 graduate of Monmouth College, has made a $1 million gift to his alma mater to honor his former business professor, Rod Lemon.

Goodwin, who presented the 2011 Wendell Whiteman Memorial Lecture last spring, graduated with a degree in business administration from Monmouth before embarking on a three-decade career in medical technology and the health care industry, most of which has been in medical ultrasound. He has led SonoSite since its spin-off from ATL Ultrasound in 1998. The world leader in hand-carried and mountable ultrasound, SonoSite also specializes in impedance cardiography equipment.

The Goodwin Endowment gift will establish the Rod Lemon Faculty Excellence Fund, which will be used to attract and retain outstanding faculty in the department of political economy and commerce (PEC).

“Monmouth College’s success in the past in business and science was no accident,” said Goodwin. “It was a result of exemplary academic programs with dedicated faculty such as Dr. Rodney Lemon. This gift is my effort to help continue this legacy by bringing new faculty of Dr. Lemon’s caliber to Monmouth. My success in business and science is due in no small part to my experience at Monmouth. I am giving back to future students who will benefit from great faculty in the new Center for Science and Business.”

A 1963 graduate of Monmouth College, Lemon returned to his alma mater as a faculty member in 1976. Among the highlights of his distinguished 31-year teaching career was his role in founding the PEC department. Beyond the classroom, Lemon provided the intellectual legwork for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s rulemaking mandating more competitive opportunities in the natural gas and electricity industries.

“It’s been a long-held dream of mine to come back to Monmouth College to explain what happened to me here,” Goodwin said last spring. “Years ago, I had a CEO mentor tell me that what separated me from others was my curiosity. This made me ask myself, ‘Now where did that start?’”

The answer, Goodwin said, was in one of Professor Lemon’s classes.

“I was in ‘Intermediate Price Theory,’” Goodwin recalled. “We were learning how to manage a company. Up to that point, I’d been a pretty mediocre student. It occurred to me in that class that I didn’t want to be mediocre. … I got an A in that class, which started a run of 18 As and one B in the remainder of my classes at Monmouth. And since that time, I’ve never stopped seeking out new opportunities to learn.”

That quest for knowledge includes Goodwin’s completion of the Executive Program at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business in 1993.

“As we anticipate the opening of our Center for Science and Business in the fall of 2013, this gift is well-timed,” said dean of the faculty David Timmerman. “Kevin Goodwin’s career mirrors our focus on the productive intersection of business and science as well as the power of integrated learning across the disciplines.”

Goodwin said that Monmouth College is definitely on the right track with its emphasis on the convergence of business and science.

“Integrated learning is where it is going,” he said. “Students who intentionally intersect business and science in their education will be ahead of the game.”

Jump-started by the class he took in 1978, Goodwin’s battery has not had to be recharged.

“I still get up in the morning excited to go to work,” said Goodwin. “My intellectual and creative engagement with ideas started at Monmouth. I was vulnerable; as a student, I could have gone either way. I can’t say enough about the Monmouth College experience.”