Baltimore boy-done-good Bob “Go Daddy” Parsons made a $1 million gift last spring to his alma mater, the University of Baltimore, to build the digital communication program, including a professorship in digital communication. Yesterday, the university named Sean Carton, D.C.D. ’05, the first holder of the Bob “Go Daddy” Parsons Professorship of Digital Communication, Commerce and Culture in UB’s Merrick School of Business.
Carton is currently the director of the University of Baltimore’s Center for Digital Communication, Commerce and Culture and professor of the practice in marketing in the Merrick School of Business. The professorship will strive to establish the next generation of digital designers, writers, leaders, scholars, innovators and entrepreneurs.
“Bob Parsons has been a groundbreaking leader in understanding and creating the digital world,” UB President Robert L. Bogomolny said. “The Parsons Professorship will provide our students with practical experience in this emerging discipline, which is why this is such a unique leadership gift for the University of Baltimore.”
Parsons grew up in Highlandtown and graduated magna cum laude from the University of Baltimore, which he attended after serving in Vietnam. Parsons later founded Parsons Technology, which he sold to Intuit. He then created GoDaddy.com and built it into the world’s largest Web hosting provider and domain name registrar.
“My congratulations to Professor Carton … this is going to be a curriculum and class unlike anything the University of Baltimore offers,” Parsons said. “The Internet is a powerful resource with unlimited potential for our future entrepreneurs, and the entire workforce for that matter. I’m excited to speak to this inaugural class later this fall and to see what this next generation can accomplish.”
Carton will continue to direct the center, which serves as a hub for student and faculty activities in digital design, communication, research, culture and entrepreneurship. In his expanded role, he will encourage the University to embrace the new digital landscape and its myriad opportunities.
“We live in a world where it’s estimated that 75 percent of the people on the planet have mobile phones, where over a billion people connect every day on Facebook,” Carton said, “and where over 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are created every day by the billions of people across the globe who use the Internet. This new world needs teachers, creators, entrepreneurs and leaders who understand it and who are equipped to thrive there.”
Darlene Brannigan Smith, B.S. ’78, M.B.A., ’80, dean of the Merrick School of Business, said the school is constantly broadening its perspective on what the digital realm can mean to business and society.
“Sean’s expertise will help push us ahead of our peers in exploring these new frontiers,” Smith said. “I expect that every UB student, and not just those studying business, will benefit from his insights.”
The named professorship, announced in June, is intended to foster UB’s expertise in digital communication—a burgeoning field that brings together computer science, graphic design, entrepreneurship and related skills across several sectors of the 21st- century global economy.
In addition to establishing the professorship, Parsons will provide lectures, either on campus or in a virtual environment, to share his expertise in the areas of digital life, online marketing and entrepreneurship. Parsons received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the University of Baltimore in 2008 and continues to break new ground on the Web with his highly touted video blog, www.BobParsons.me, which he uses to help aspiring entrepreneurs. Parsons also received the 2010 University of Baltimore Distinguished Entrepreneur Award.
The University of Baltimore is a member of the University System of Maryland and comprises the College of Public Affairs, the Merrick School of Business, the UB School of Law and the Yale Gordon College of Arts and Sciences.