McLain gift to Auburn University College of Business supports endowed professorships

AUBURN – Mike and Jane McLain of Atlanta have increased an existing pledge to the Auburn University College of Business in support of the university’s efforts to recognize and retain exemplary faculty through its endowed professorship program. Their commitment of $150,000 is the second secured by the College of Business in less than two months in response to President Jay Gogue’s challenge to create 81 new professorships across campus for existing faculty with exceptional merit.

When fully funded, the McLain Family Endowed Professorship will be awarded by the dean of the college to a professor who exhibits a strong commitment to students and a high quality of instruction, research and service. The donors requested that preference be given to a faculty member in finance or marketing. To make the endowment one of distinction, the university will match the annual spendable amount which is available for distribution with $7,500 in perpetuity.

“Jane and I are pleased to support President Gogue’s initiative to increase the number of endowed professorships at Auburn University by creating the McLain Family Professorship,” said Mike. “We recognize the important role faculty play in educating future Auburn students.”

Mike and Jane are both 1972 graduates of Auburn University. Jane received a degree in textile design, while Mike received a bachelor’s degree in business administration. Mike also received a Master of Business Administration from Furman University in 1979.

Mike is chief executive officer and managing partner of Icon Investment Partners, an operationally focused acquisitions firm pursuing branded businesses in the consumer and industrial segment. Prior to forming Icon Investment Partners, Mike was president, chief executive officer and director of Aearo Technologies, a leading industrial and consumer safety company. Mike sold Aearo Technologies to 3M in 2008. Prior to this, he served as president and chief executive officer of DowBrands Inc., a large manufacturer of household consumer products sold to S.C. Johnson in 1998. He is on the boards of PlayCore, Little Rapids Corporation and Timex.

“A business school’s ability to build great programs is dependent upon our ability to retain outstanding faculty,” said Paul Bobrowski, dean of the College of Business. “We are grateful to Mike and Jane for such a thoughtful and generous investment in the Auburn University College of Business and ultimately our future leaders.”

The College of Business at Auburn University is accredited at the undergraduate and graduate levels by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International, the highest standard of achievement for business schools. Less than one-third of U.S. business schools and only 15 percent of business schools worldwide meet the rigorous standards of AACSB International accreditation. Institutions that earn accreditation confirm their commitment to quality and continuous improvement through a rigorous and comprehensive peer review.

(Contributed by Dina Kanellos Roberts.)

Contact: Dina Kanellos Roberts, (334) 844-2203 (, or
Mike Clardy, (334) 844-9999 (