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Uncommon Friends Foundation

A spirit of adventure, a sense of purpose and a commitment to positive values and unending personal growth are the building blocks of the Uncommon Friends Foundation Inc.

These noble personality traits were exhibited by some of the greatest men of the 20th century – Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Harvey Firestone, Alexis Carrel and Charles Lindbergh – and were elaborated on by author Jim Newton, who dubbed this band of visionaries his “Uncommon Friends.”

The Foundation’s passion and goal is to see that the arresting qualities of these historic and bold men continue to be embraced today and for the generations to come. As Jim Newton proclaimed,”The best is yet to be!” This is the Uncommon Friends Foundation.

The Uncommon Friends Foundation, a not-for-profit 501(c) 3 organization established in 1993, is dedicated to lifelong character building among today’s youth and business leaders. Its mission is to promote character education in schools, business ethics in the workplace and historic preservation of the Burroughs Home and James Newton Archives.

Character education is about celebrating and teaching positive human qualities, qualities that lead to productive lives and a thriving society. Good character doesn’t just happen; it must be taught and modeled. Many states, in fact, mandate the teaching of character education in schools. Uncommon Friends Foundation is dedicated to character education and has as its mission instilling ethics, moral values, and a sense of purpose in tomorrow’s leaders. The foundation’s character education program teaches such traits as honesty, integrity, friendship, cooperation, and perseverance.

Dr. Eric B. Dent

Dr. Eric B. Dent is all about leadership and ethics. He serves as Eminent Scholar, Professor and Uncommon Friends Endowed Chair in Ethics Lutgert College of Business at Florida Gulf Coast University. He is a consultant to Fortune 500, government, and non-profit organizations as well as an invited speaker to national audiences. Dr. Dent now provides leadership and ethical consulting as an Executive Coach, Management Consultant, Professor, Speaker, and Scholar. He is committed to an interdisciplinary research agenda and has publications in journals of leadership, consulting, philosophy, workplace spirituality, history, communications, psychology, education, and others

Eric B. Dent, Ph. D.
Lutgert Hall 2318
Phone: (239) 590-7162

The Uncommon Friends Foundation is dedicated to enhancing the ethical culture in Southwest Florida businesses through its endowed Chair of Business Ethics at Florida Gulf Coast University, currently held by Dr. Eric Dent. The FGCU Chair of Business Ethics is funded by an endowment through the Uncommon Friends Foundation and initially launched in 2006 with a generous gift from UFF board member Bob Taylor. As a result of this Chair position, all FGCU business majors are required to take classes in ethics.

In offices and boardrooms across America, businessmen and women are working hard at more than just improving company profits—they are shaping the character, work ethics and integrity of their corporate culture. UFF helps support this effort through business ethics roundtables and a our annual Business Ethics Award that goes to an outstanding business that exhibits a commitment to business ethics at all levels of the organization, among its industry peers, and within its community. The Business Ethics Award is presented in conjunction with the Florida Gulf Coast University Chair of Business Ethics to a Southwest Florida business that exemplifies the highest standards of ethical behavior throughout the organization and in its dealings with the public. The finalists participate in a special Business Ethics luncheon hosted in conjunction with Florida Gulf Coast University that is held at FGCU in early fall.  The winner is then announced at the Uncommon Friends Foundation’s annual Uncommon Evening event held in the fall at the Burroughs Home & Gardens in Fort Myers.



Columns & Articles


Distinguished Ethics Speaker Series

FGCU 3rd Annual Distinguished Speaker in Ethics - Cheryl Bachelder

Cheryl Bachelder

Watch video


Distinguished Ethic Speaker Dr. Mark Livingston

Dr. Mark Livingston


Distinguished speaker John Allison

John Allison

Watch video:
Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

Read papers


Ethics Speakers at FGCU

Jordi Tejero, CEO, CRS Technologies
Jordi Tejero
CRS Technologies
Angela Melvin
Angela Melvin
Valerie's House
Gary Gardner
Gary Gardner
Management Consultant and Founding Partner
The Leadership Culture
Theo Etzel presentation
Theo Etzel
CEO and Owner
Conditioned Air
Ted Todd, CEO, Ted Todd Insurance
Ted Todd
CEO and Founder
Ted Todd Insurance


Uncommon Friends

Business Ethics Award - The Uncommon Friends Foundation