Elkins Boardroom Will Expand Isenberg's External Reach

March 12, 2014


Arthur '57 and Barbara Elkins with Dean Fuller and Chancellor Subbaswamy


Isenberg's dedication ceremony for the Arthur '57 and Barbara R. Elkins Business Intelligence Boardroom on March 10 attracted an enthusiastic gathering, including Chancellor Subbaswamy, Dean Fuller, former Dean O'Brien, and a number of Arthur Elkins' beloved former colleagues on the Isenberg faculty. Just off the Isenberg atrium, the new facility offers an ideal setting and technologies for small group discussions, problem solving, and external communications. Assets include a twenty-seat elliptical boardroom table and state-of-the-art conference connectivity through three high-definition wall screens.


"The room should prove a fantastic teaching resource for seminars that will link to speakers, universities, and businesses from just about anywhere," observed Elkins. That's more than a sea change, he recalled, from technologies during his first decade (the 1960s) of teaching at Isenberg, which sported several rooms of glorified calculating machines.


"Several years ago, Barbara and I decided that it was the right time in our lives to make significant gifts to causes that we believe in," noted Art. "When we discussed giving to Isenberg with Dean Fuller, he asked us what we'd like to do and gave us a few ideas. The boardroom seemed perfect considering my own teaching experiences with seminars."


Back to the Future. A 1957 Isenberg marketing graduate, Art joined Isenberg's management faculty in 1963, after earning an MBA from Columbia University and a Ph.D. from Indiana University. He taught strategy and policy at the school for 24 years, serving as head of the department in the late 1970s and as associate dean in the early 1980s.


Art retired from Isenberg in 1987 at age 52 to join Barbara full-time in their fast-growing business, WEBS, which sells yarns and related knitting and weaving resources. During the next 15 years, the couple grew the business into a national leader in its field. (Barbara had founded WEBS in the Elkins' basement in the mid-1970s.) Today, WEBS is in equally adept hands, Art emphasized. Managed since 2002 by Art's son, Steve, and his wife, Kathy, the Northampton-based venture is the nation's leading mail order source for yarn-related supplies.