Remembering Trustee J. Martin Erbaugh

By Deborah D. Hoover, President & CEO

We are deeply saddened to share that longtime Trustee J. Martin Erbaugh (Marty) passed away on May 12, 2019. Marty served as Trustee of Burton D. Morgan Foundation from 1990 to the time of his passing in 2019. Marty was a close friend of Burt Morgan and thus provided a close connection to his philanthropic vision, donor intent, and the early history of Morgan Foundation. Marty brought to his Foundation service governance expertise, legal skills, consensus building finesse, and expansive community engagement coupled with unflagging dedication to the Foundation’s mission as champion of the entrepreneurial spirit.  For me personally, he was always a willing sounding board for new ideas and vexing challenges.

Marty’s professional experience as an accomplished entrepreneur informed the thoughtful guidance he shared with the Foundation as we shaped entrepreneurship programming, particularly in collegiate entrepreneurship. He was instrumental in helping Denison University, Kent State University, and Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) to develop robust entrepreneurship programming in support of students seeking to develop the entrepreneurial mindset and launch ventures.

Drawing from his combined legal background and entrepreneurial experience, he saw the need for university students to have access to intellectual property and venture formation expertise. Marty became an early proponent of the CWRU School of Law Intellectual Property Venture Clinic which also serves as a training ground for law students seeking to gain skills in counseling startups. He strongly believed that experiential learning is the best way for aspiring entrepreneurs to succeed and consequently championed the NEOLaunchNET campuses, with special affinity for the Kent State University LaunchNET where he served as a mentor and on the program’s advisory board. In my opinion, it is fair to say that his vision and enthusiasm for collegiate entrepreneurship is a key reason Northeast Ohio boasts such a robust network of programs supporting startups on university campuses.

Morgan Foundation trustees and staff express deep sympathy to the Erbaugh Family and honor the memory of J. Martin Erbaugh for his exceptional contribution to the mission of Burton D. Morgan Foundation.  I will be forever grateful for Marty’s generosity of spirit and the many ways he shared his talents and time to help others achieve their dreams.