Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Saint Mary’s University mourns the loss of Dr. Jon Kabara ’48, founder of Kabara Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies

Dr. Jon J. Kabara, 84, of Galena, Ill., known worldwide in the medical community for his breakthrough research, died Thursday, March 24, at his home in Florida. Funeral arrangements are pending.

A 1948 graduate of Saint Mary’s University, Dr. Kabara dedicated his life to medical research. He served as a professor at the University of Detroit and later Michigan State University for more than 30 years, and in 1969, he helped establish the first affiliated school of osteopathic medicine at Michigan State. An expert in the field of dietary fats and oils, Dr. Kabara was awarded more than 16 U.S. and foreign patents and is credited with more than 200 publications, including eight books.

Dr. Kabara earned a career full of impressive titles such as “International Man of the Year,” as well as listings in “Leaders in American Science” and “American Men in Science.” His life-long passion for science and entrepreneurship led his company, Med-Chem Labs Inc., to the successful creation of Lauricidin, a science-based nutritional supplement for better health and self-healing.

In 2005, Dr. Kabara and his wife, Betty, made a transformational gift to establish the Kabara Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies at Saint Mary’s University. Dr. Kabara’s goal was to incite a passion for entrepreneurial spirit in students, no matter their area of study, and to recognize the importance of entrepreneurship in society. Through the Institute, students at Saint Mary’s have heard success stories of alumni entrepreneurs and nationally known speakers, taken tours of various businesses, competed in business plan competitions, and worked toward the future creation of their own businesses through the assistance of a supportive entrepreneurial university community.

“Saint Mary’s University is proud to call Dr. Jon Kabara one of our own,” said Brother William Mann, president. “Dr. Kabara provided Saint Mary’s with an opportunity to inspire and educate students — who one day dream of starting their own businesses — through the establishment of the Kabara Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies. Jon’s legacy will continue to shape the university’s commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship, and for this we are forever grateful.”

Robert Figliulo ’76, chair of the Kabara Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies Advisory Board, said Dr. Kabara was “a dear friend, whose radiant smile and character will be greatly missed by those he impacted not only at the university, but across the world. Saint Mary’s students are blessed to have so many alumni with unique entrepreneurial experience. Jon wanted to share that experience with as many of our students as possible. We are honored to carry on his work.”

In 2008, Saint Mary’s University awarded Dr. Kabara with an honorary Doctorate of Ethical Leadership. In 1998, Dr. Kabara received the Distinguished Alumni award and in 1970, he was the recipient of the Bishop Patrick R. Heffron award for service to the university.

Dr. Kabara once shared this advice with Saint Mary’s students: “Make ‘ethical business’ more than an oxymoron term. As leaders for the next generation, our country/world needs your special talents and efforts to help form a truly peaceful global economy.”

Dr. Kabara also encouraged students to have a passion for what they do. “My final piece of advice is this secret: If you can dream it, you can make it happen. So dream big.”

Saint Mary’s University extends its thoughts and prayers to Betty Kabara and the entire Kabara family. A daughter, Sheila Kabara Howell, is a 1975 Saint Mary’s alum.