“In addition to being a talented leader, Curtis is an internationally-recognized scholar in the field of contracts and commercial law,” says Willamette University President Steve Thorsett. “This appointment is an acknowledgement of his achievements as a scholar and professor and supports the continued success of the college’s Business Law Institute.”
Prior to joining Willamette in July 2013, Bridgeman was the James and Margaret Elizabeth Hennessey Corry Professor of Law and associate dean for academic affairs at Florida State University School of Law. He has been an invited speaker at law schools around the world, has addressed the annual meeting of the American Bar Association’s business law section, and served on the executive committee of the American Association of Law Schools’ contracts section.
“It is a great honor to be named to the Wendt Chair. Rod and Carol have been fantastic supporters of education at Willamette and have had a tremendous impact on our graduates over the years,” Bridgeman says. “Moreover, as an alumnus, Rod has been the kind of leader in the Northwest that we hope to help all of our graduates become.”
The Roderick and Carol Wendt Chair in Business Law was established in 2003 with a $2.5 million gift from Rod Wendt JD’80 and his wife, Carol. Rod served as chief executive officer and president of JELD-WEN, Inc. from 1992 to 2011 and has been an officer of various JELD-WEN affiliates and subsidiaries, including Eagle Crest G.P. Inc., Running Y Resort, Inc., Windmill Inns of America, West One Automotive Group, Frank Paxton Company and Brooks Resources Corporation. He has been a Willamette University trustee since 2002.
The previous and only other holder of the chair was Peter Letsou, former professor of laws and dean of the College of Law.