Passions Lead to Significant Sig Award
Eric Morgan ’95 is one of the three most recent Delta Delta brothers to be designated a Significant Sig for the 2023 class. Eric was recognized for his diverse business success throughout his career.
Early Career Takes Flight
Eric graduated from Purdue University in 1995 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Professional Pilot Technology. Following graduation, he served as a pilot for TWA and American Airlines until 2003 flying both domestic and international routes. During his undergraduate days Eric was one of two students selected by the Purdue faculty to fly the university jet. His primary responsibility was to fly President Steven Beering to his many events around the country. Eric remarked, “Dr. Beering was such a nice man. He always made it a point to introduce us to distinguished alumni. It was a wonderful experience. I still remember carrying around my letter that he signed so I could show professors when I needed to miss class to fly on a trip.”
Change of Course
Eric’s spirit of entrepreneurship motived him to leave the cockpit and go into the real estate business. He founded The Morgan Investment Group in 2000 and has amassed a portfolio of multi-family apartment communities, golf courses, and airport investments located throughout the country.
Along the way, Eric was approached by Bob Chapman, the CEO and Chairman of Barry-Wehmiller ($2.4B company with 11,000 employees globally), who asked Eric if he would create a flight department and be the head of flight operations for the company. Eric put together the entire department with crews; acquired two jets for the company; and built an operations and maintenance team that serviced the organization globally. He continued in this role for seven years, while still operating Morgan Investments.
Eric was again drawn back to aviation in 2020 with his current investment in the Naples Jet Center in Naples, Florida. The operation services private aircraft and also provides 150,000 sq/ft of aircraft storage for operators based at the airport. The Jet Center provides key support in handling the airport’s 4 million annual passengers.
Impacting the Community and Beyond
Eric, who owns The Club at the Strand in Naples, FL, a community that includes a 27-hole golf course, club house, a golf academy, tennis, pickleball facility and fitness complex, has sought to impact the community and women’s golf. He has donated the facilities at The Club at the Strand for over 100 non-profit events and luncheons including Sigma Chi and Purdue events.
Eric, through the Club at the Strand, sponsors LPGA player Lauren Stephanson, a rising player on the tour. Stephanson remarked, “they really support women’s golf at the Club at the Strand”. In an interview with LPGA magazine, Eric stated, “To be more involved with the LPGA is important to me. These women are incredibly talented and it’s a little sad that they don’t have some of the notoriety and attendance that you see at PGA tour events. So, anything we can do to draw attention and notoriety to these talented athletes, we will do that.”
Under Eric’s direction, the Club at the Strand also sponsors and hosts youth programs for golf and tennis and is part of First Tee Naples, a program dedicated to introducing young people to the game of golf. They also host the National Girls and Women’s Sports day.
Amidst all this activity, Eric has found time to start a local soccer and baseball team for kids who may not have made the other teams in the league. This program gives “every kid a chance” to participate in youth sports and build on their strengths and confidence to succeed in sports and life.
Eric and his wife, Mikkel, reside in St. Louis, MO.