Press Releases

TitleMarine Officer Awarded USD’s Meg Whitman Leadership Scholarship
ContactLiz Harman
Contact E-mailharman, at
Contact Phone(619) 260-4682

Major Eric Burton, a U.S. Marine Corps officer currently serving in Afghanistan, has been awarded the 2011 Meg Whitman Scholarship for the University of San Diego’s Master of Science in Executive Leadership (MSEL) program.

The $2,000 scholarship was funded by MSEL alumni, following the former e-Bay CEO’s speech at USD in 2007, and is awarded annually “to benefit students who have demonstrated a history of bold leadership balanced with the generosity to mentor and develop others consistent with the values and philosophy of Ms. Whitman,” said Kurt May, director of the MSEL program.

Burton, who will begin the MSEL program  in August, is currently serving in the Nimroz Province of Afghanistan, where he leads a team of 20 troops responsible for stabilization operations in uncharted territories. Additionally, Burton takes it upon himself daily to teach at least one Afghan child to write their name in his or her native language.

Burton has served for 18 years in the Marine Corps, much of which as an F-18 pilot. He has been recognized as “Instructor Pilot of the Year” and “Aviator of the Year.” In addition, he is founding member of the DS Action Group which serves families and those with Down Syndrome. The DS Action Group is responsible for opening the Down Syndrome Clinic at Rady Children’s Hospital.

Burton and his wife, Teresa, have four children ranging from five months to 11 years. The Burtons are active in outdoor sports and live in Ramona. In his spare time, Eric Burton is also a gifted singer and songwriter.

The MSEL program, offered through an alliance between USD’s School of Business Administration and the Ken Blanchard Companies, in an innovative, values-based business degree for established and emerging executives.  The mission of the program is to develop and inspire leaders who will transform their organizations and the world through service with compassion and integrity. For more information go to

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