William Eaton, MBA ’75, grew up playing music. It was, he says, “the soundtrack of my life.” But he came from a family of bankers, so when he arrived at Stanford GSB, he figured it was time to put his musical fantasies behind and begin training for a real a job. One night he picked up his guitar and began strumming and suddenly realized that he wanted music to be central to his life. Soon after, he mentioned to one of his professors his dream of creating a guitar-making school. The professor asked, “When will you get the opportunity do this again?” So, while still at Stanford, Eaton wrote a business plan that became the blueprint for the Roberto-Venn School of Luthiery, which was founded in Arizona 46 years ago, and which he still runs.
– Steve Goldbloom