Distinguished Donor Spotlight ~ Geoff Gordon
Dr. Geoff Gordon, NIU College of Business Marketing Department Chair, is seen as a leader among faculty, students and alumni. Many have found a mentor, friend, and coach in Dr. Gordon. He has always been someone to go above and beyond to help - sharing his time, talent, resources, and dollars. A President's Circle Member, Dr. Gordon is enthusiastic about alumni and faculty giving. "NIU has provided me with a lot of benefits - a great job, good working environment, good friends, and an opportunity to teach great students. It is my belief you need to lead by example and by giving, I hope to encourage others to do also."
As department chair, Dr. Gordon directs time to increase alumni support and involvement. "Currently, less than 10% of College of Business alumni donate back to the department and college. We can improve that. If each graduate could donate $50 their first year after graduating and then $100 or more annually thereafter, the college and varied departments would be able to provide so much more support for student travel, student activities, building enhancements, scholarships, faculty activities, and technology." Dr. Gordon believes that graduates should take the time to step back and recognize the opportunities and benefits provided to them during their time at the College of Business; and if more did just that, there may be greater donations back to the college.
Giving seems to be ingrained in Dr. Gordon. Upon learning that an active and contributing member of the American Marketing Association (AMA) was taking 15 hours of classes and working a full-time job to support their way through college, Dr. Gordon followed up with the student and discovered that the student's father had recently lost his job and could no longer help pay tuition. Dr. Gordon did not want to see the student fall behind in the classroom by working too many hours. He then did something remarkable; he helped. Dr. Gordon regularly supports ongoing needs as they arise in order to help students succeed in academics and life.
An alumnus and former student shares, “Dr. Gordon helped me to understand the important role finance plays in developing a marketing strategy and he has continued to teach me new ways to evaluate companies for my work, but the single most important item I have learned from him has been to help others.”
Joining NIU in 1991, Dr. Gordon and his family have been in the DeKalb/Sycamore community for 22 years. Dr. Gordon recalls, "I remember telling my wife, Sarah, after I received my job offer from NIU that she was not to worry as we would escape the flatlands of Illinois within a year or two to return to the East coast. Over two decades later, we still love it out here." Obviously strong NIU supporters, Dr. Gordon and Sarah show their biggest support to their two boys and their competitive swimming. They enjoy traveling to watch them swim and being part of both their triumphs and defeats.