Proud and successful liberal arts alum to speak owner

An NAU alumus will share with campus how he turned his liberal arts education into a $6 billion company.

Rod Underhill will discuss “What’s My Excuse for Creating a Company Worth More Than $6 Billion?” at 7 p.m. Jan. 26 in room 135 of the Liberal Arts building.

Underhill, co-founder of, an online music store, will discuss his studies in numerous liberal arts disciplines. In addition to his involvement in, he has worked as a trial lawyer, an author and a producer. He recently received the 2008 Webby Award, presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences, for his work with mobile phone technology.

“My liberal arts education only started at NAU. My studies in history, English, literature, art, math, engineering and the philosophy of science have continued daily,” Underhill said. “I have been called a ‘Renaissance’ man, but I prefer to be called a polymath, or, even better, liberal arts major.”

Underhill has changed careers various times and credits his success in those transitions to the knowledge he has gained as a lifelong student of Liberal Studies.

“Learning is infinite; there is no conclusion to learning and nothing outside of the scope of education. Everything is potentially relevant,” Underhill said.

Underhill’s lecture is sponsored by the NAU College of Arts and Letters.