Ogden banker John B. Goddard and his wife, Geraldine W. Goddard, of Ogden have established a $6.5 million-plus endowment for Weber State University's College of Business and Economics.

In appreciation of the gift, WSU will name its business college the John B. Goddard School of Business and Economics. The school will remain housed in the Wattis Business Building. A formal naming ceremony will be held this fall."The Goddards' generosity will propel WSU's business school to a new level. Their gift provides supplemental funding for excellence - enabling us to build the academic quality of programs, increase the number of scholarships, enhance faculty research and development, purchase new equipment and expand resources," said WSU President Paul H. Thomp-son.

Already a nationally accredited leader in business education, WSU officials expect the donation to boost the reputation and visibility of the school's programs.

"In addition to attracting top students, we anticipate an increase in the number of employers who recruit here," Thompson said.

Founder of the Western Mortgage Loan Corporation and United Savings Bank, Goddard dedicated his more than 40-year career to improving the quality of life and business in Northern Utah. "Future economic growth in this area is dependent on business, and business is dependent on Weber State University. Business and industry will locate near an institution that can be relied upon to teach ever-changing skills to its work force," he said.

"WSU has proven itself as the best teaching university in the state, and my hope is that it will play an even greater role in preparing the business leaders of tomorrow."

John Goddard served as a member of the Utah Board of Regents from 1985-97. During that time, he was instrumental in WSU gaining university status. He also served on Weber State's College of Business and Economics advisory council for eight years.

In 1983, he was awarded an honorary doctorate degree from WSU.

The Goddards, who married in 1943, are Ogden natives. They attended the University of Utah together before Goddard enlisted in the U.S. Army during World War II. He was honorably discharged as a captain after being wounded in action and was awarded the Purple Heart.

Geraldine Goddard received a bachelor's degree in education from the U. in 1942.

John Goddard founded the Western Mortgage Loan Corporation in 1951 and formed United Savings Bank seven years later. In 1997 he sold both companies to Washington Mutual.