The Arthur M. Spiro Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership was made possible by a $1.5 million gift from textile industry leader and entrepreneur Arthur M. Spiro and his wife, Joan. In making the gift, Spiro recognized that U.S. industry was restructuring at every level. “As corporations have downsized, decisions are being made much closer to the action,” he said. “Executives and managers today must act as ‘owner/entrepreneurs’ within the corporate environment.”
Spiro received his B.S. degree in chemical engineering from Clemson University in 1945 while serving as a U.S. naval officer in the Pacific theater. He later earned an M.S. degree in textile technology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Spiro was awarded an honorary doctorate from Clemson in 2000 and received the Alumni Distinguished Service Award in 2002.
Spiro’s 50-year career as an engineer, executive and entrepreneur in the textile industry culminated in his ownership of Carleton Woolen Mills, the nation’s second largest producer of woolen fabrics, which he sold in 1994. He’s past president of the American Association for Textile Technology and the Textile Distributors Association.
At Clemson, Spiro was an adjunct professor in the College of Business and Behavioral Science and served on the President’s Advisory Council and the board of directors of the Clemson University Foundation. He was also a member of the Cold Spring Harbor (CSH) Laboratory board of trustees, chairman of the Dolan DNA Learning Center Committee at CSH Laboratory, honorary member of the board of trustees of the North Shore/Long Island Jewish Health System, chairman emeritus of the board of directors of the North Shore/LIJ Feinstein Research Institute, member of the advisory board for the Hall of Fame of the American Textile History Museum and honorary life trustee of Temple Beth El of Great Neck, N.Y.
Arthur Spiro passed away on March 16, 2013 after a long and courageous battle with Parkinson’s Disease. His obituary may be found here.