Anne and Eldon Foote live far from Edmonton on tiny Norfolk Island, but their presence is felt daily at the University of Alberta, where Eldon excelled as a track and field athlete, was active in student affairs, and was the graduating class valedictorian in 1948.
Following his graduation from the Faculty of Law, Eldon Foote, '45 BSc, '48 LLB, successfully practised law for 19 years before he decided to seize an opportunity. In 1967, having learned about a company called HomCare, he took leave from his law practice to open a HomCare franchise in Australia. His success in Australia caught the attention of the corporate head office of the company, which is based on the marketing of household consumables by a sales force of homemakers, and he was asked to help expand the business internationally.
In 1969 he took the franchise to Hong Kong and Japan, and today HomCare products are being distributed by 50,000 Japanese homemakers.
In March 1997, Mr. Foote sold his interest in the HomCare business so that he and his wife, Anne, might pursue other interests. The base for their present pursuits is their home on tiny, remote Norfolk Island, a speck in the South Pacific, more than 1,000 kilometres off the east coast of Australia.
The Footes strongly believe in giving back for what they received, and the University of Alberta has been a major beneficiary of the couple's generosity. They are making a difference at the University in many ways. Through the Eldon Foote Track and Field Scholarships, through nursing scholarships (Anne was involved in the nursing profession for many years), through the Eldon Foote Chair in International Business Law, and through their contribution to the refurbishing of the Faculty of Law's moot courtroom.
Recently the Foote's made another major gift to the University when they provided $2 million of support for the South Campus Athletic Training Facility. That facility, now to be known as Foote Field, will be a venue for a variety of University and community athletic activities including track and field and Golden Bears football after it serves as a major training venue for the 2001 World Championships in Athletics.
With their support for a wide range of activities all across campus, the Footes are helping to make the University of Alberta a better place.
Published Summer 2001