William K. Hood Boardroom unveiled
Brandman University’s Irvine campus is now home to the William K. Hood Boardroom. In a brief ceremony Monday at the start of the Board of Regents meeting, Chancellor Gary Brahm unveiled the newly named conference room to the delight of Hood, a founding member of the Board of Regents, and the applause of his fellow regents and Brandman’s senior staff.
“As you know, at Brandman, it’s all about people. And that starts with the board,” said Brahm, adding that Hood has given “an incredible amount of time” in service to the university and deserved a more permanent “thank you.”
It’s the first room to be named In someone’s honor at Brandman, although the School of Nursing added Marybelle and S.Paul Musco to its name in 2012.
The boardroom naming was “a total surprise and I very much appreciated it, especially at Brandman. We’re a young organization and that board room has had some great people in it already. To have it named after you is a very special honor,” said Hood in a later interview.
In addition to helping found Brandman as a separate university, Hood has served as a trustee for Chapman University for nearly 35 years. His work on the Budget and Finance Committee there brought him into frequent contact with Brahm when he was chief financial officer.
While Hood has been frequently tapped for his financial expertise, it’s his love of innovation in education that attracted him to Brandman. “We’re going to be the leader for innovative education. That’s a goal and we’re making good progress,” he said.
Hood knows what it takes to make a university successful. When he joined the Chapman board after being recruited by George Argyros in 1981, the university was struggling financially. “We had no money,” he said. “Now, it’s a marvelous success.”
Hood also serves on the board of Sirona, a leader in dental laboratories and digital dentistry innovation. He has also previously served on the board of Schick Technologies, as dean of the Chapman University School of Business Management, and as president and chief executive officer of Hunt Wesson Foods.
A native of Connecticut, Hood joined the U.S. Navy three days after his 18th birthday and 16 days after Pearl Harbor and the start of World War II for the United States. He served primarily aboard a destroyer in the North Atlantic but in 1942 sailed into San Diego Harbor.
“It was such a beautiful harbor and I said someday I’m going to live here,” said Hood, a resident of Newport Beach. After the war he attended Antioch College in Ohio, went to work for U.S. Steel and eventually made it to Southern California.
In adding his congratulations during the naming ceremony, his fellow regent David Janes talked about Hood’s military service as the start of an incredible life of service.
Hood said he thought his major contributions were keeping an open mind, especially about innovation, and to help “move the needle” so that other people can take advantage of the opportunities that Brandman provides. “I don’t think of myself as primarily a finance person, although that’s my discipline. I like to think of myself as an innovative manager more than anything else.”
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