A Ford Motor Co. executive has pledged $250,000 to the Kansas University School of Business.
The gift from James G. Duff, San Francisco, was announced today by L. Joseph Bauman, business school dean.
Bauman said the gift would establish the James G. Duff Fund for Corporate Finance to support projects such as faculty recruitment, faculty writing and research, teaching awards, corporate internships and visiting lecture programs.
Duff, 52, is president and chief executive officer of United States Leasing International Inc., a Ford Motor Co. subsidiary.
A Pittsburg native, Duff received his bachelor's and master's degrees in finance at KU in 1960 and 1961. He later taught finance and accounting at KU.
"I have always appreciated the education I received at Kansas and remained motivated by the dedication and enthusiasm of faculty members who introduced me to the business world 30 years ago," Duff said. "I'm grateful to be able to help support the tradition of teaching excellence that served me and continues to make the KU business school a great institution."
Duff's aim is to endow a chair at the KU School of Business.
"I believe we need increased emphasis on the corporate side of the business curriculum," he said. "I'd like to tie future gifts to progress made in this area. I look forward to working with the school in increasing emphasis and skills in an area that has been very good to me."
Bauman said Duff also was a member of the school's advisory board and had helped obtain support for the school's minority program from the Ford Fund. The Ford Fund has contributed about $80,000 in support of minority programs, including scholarships, the summer Inroads program for high school students and the school's minority business council.
Duff joined Ford Motor Co. in Dearborn, Mich., in 1962 as a financial analyst. In 1972, he was assigned to Ford of Europe as assistant controller and, later, as director of project, profit, pricing and warranty.
In 1974, he became controller of the Ford Division in the United States and, two years later, of Ford's car product development group. In 1980, he was appointed executive vice president for diversified financing operations at Ford Motor Credit Co. In 1988, he was named president of U.S. Leasing.
Duff is a member of the KU Alumni Association and the Chancellors Club. He serves on the West Coast Regional Committee for Campaign Kansas, KU's $177 million fund drive. As a student, he was a member of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity, Beta Gamma Sigma and Alpha Kappa Psi.
Duff's gift will count toward the Campaign Kansas goal.