Inspired by the Past, Giving for the Future

Entrepreneur and longtime Tulane professor John Elstrott and his wife, Patty, have established the Elstrott Charitable Remainder Unitrust to honor their family’s Tulane legacy and to provide for the university’s strong future.

The Elstrott fund will likely benefit the A. B. Freeman School of Business; Elstrott was able to leave the purpose of the trust open. “It is nice that I have that flexibility to direct (the fund) where I want to direct it as my interests change and as Tulane’s needs change,” he said.

John Elstrott
John Elstrott (pictured) and his wife, Patty, have established the Elstrott Charitable Remainder Unitrust.

Elstrott knows the needs of Tulane well. He taught at the university for over 30 years, still serves on the Business School Council and is an Innovator in Residence at the Lepage Center. He started as an economics professor in 1982 but switched to the business school a few years later. In 1991, he became head of the Levy-Rosenblum Institute for Entrepreneurship, which he helped found. Today, LRI is part of the Albert Lepage Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, which oversees and coordinates all of the business school’s entrepreneurship efforts. Over his career, Elstrott has started and built companies and advised different ventures; he served as chairman of the board for Whole Foods from 1994 to 2017.

Many of Elstrott’s family members attended the university, including his maternal grandfather Errol E. Kelly, who graduated from Tulane in civil engineering in 1918.

He is happy to do his part in building a strong Tulane, and he is optimistic for the university’s future: “Tulane embraces innovation and change. Tulane has proven that they’ll adapt and continue to stick to their values and their culture but adapt to what’s necessary to serve the educational and research needs of the future.”