The A. E. Coleman Chair Endowment in Family Business

A. E. ColemanIn 1999 three brothers and their families made a gift in honor of their father, A.E. Coleman (pictured at right), a long-time Corvallis jeweler, to help establish a chair in OSU's Austin Family Business Program. A decade later, one of the brothers, James E. Coleman and his wife, Sue (pictured below), pledged an additional $1 million to fund this position.

Born in 1902 in Elk City, Kan., Alfred E. Coleman was one of 11 children in a farm family. He contracted polio at the age of 9 after moving to a homestead in Myrtle Creek, Ore., and was left with only partial use of his legs, requiring two crutches for the rest of his life. He overcame the disability and took up archery, becoming state champion in 1931 and 1932. He founded A.E. Coleman Jewelers as a watch repair shop in 1927 and kept expanding his business for 45 years. His son John continues to operate it, which makes it the second oldest jewelry store in Oregon in one location.

Sue and James E. ColemanColeman sent all of his sons — Richard A. Coleman, James E. Coleman, and John N. Coleman — to OSU business school and had a profound impact on their lives. In a written statement, they said: "Dad is the hero to his three sons because he taught us to follow our dreams, to be all we can be, to never give up, and that every goal is within our grasp. We believe his legacy will inspire and educate others to have a successful family business." A.E. Coleman died in 1972. His autobiography, "Sticks," was published in 2004.

James E. Coleman of Modesto, Calif., attended OSU business school for two years then graduated from the University of Oregon. As co-chairman of E. & J. Gallo Winery, his lifelong business career has helped this family-owned business become one of the largest wineries in the world.


Sherri Noxel

Sherri NoxelAfter a year as interim director and three years as associate director, Sherri Noxel was named director of the Austin Family Business Program and holder of the A.E. Coleman Chair in Family Business in 2011.

Before her arrival at OSU, Noxel served as director of assessment for the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education and director of information and research for the Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education. She earned her bachelor's and master's degrees from the University of Florida and her doctorate in higher education leadership from The Ohio State University.

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