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McPherson College Announces $1.2 M Gift for Entrepreneurship Program

posted Apr 07, 2011 in ACADEMICS

President Schneider with Horizon Fund and Global Enterprise Challenge students.
A $1.2 million anonymous gift to McPherson College’s entrepreneurship initiative has demonstrated solid support for the visionary new program. At the same time, the college released details of its unique Transformative Entrepreneurship Minor – available for the first time this fall.

“A gift of this size is a huge endorsement of McPherson College’s vision to lift up liberal arts by embracing entrepreneurship across its curriculum,” said President Michael Schneider. “I’m sure these donors are the first of many who will recognize the distinctive value of entrepreneurship in a liberal arts education at McPherson College. Other places isolate entrepreneurship into one department or a separate building. But at MC, it’s an essential part of every field of study. ”

A top priority will be to fund a new Director of Entrepreneurship at the college. The full-time director will provide direction and guidance for liberal arts and entrepreneurship programming, creating new programs as well as leading existing ones. These include the Horizon Fund, which provides micro-grants of up to $500 to any McPherson College student with an entrepreneurial idea; and the Global Enterprise Challenge, in which students came up with sustainable ventures to help in Haiti. The $1.2 million will also support faculty training and curriculum development in entrepreneurship. In a statement, the donor explained that these creative programs were the reason for keeping their gift anonymous.

“We want the focus to be on this remarkable effort to take liberal arts education to the next level, not on us,” the donor said. “The progress McPherson College has made on this effort is amazing. We encourage others to support this program that is making real change.”

The first step in weaving entrepreneurship directly into the liberal arts curriculum begins in the fall with the Transformative Entrepreneurship Minor. The purpose is to allow all students the opportunity to study entrepreneurship, regardless of major. Faculty from all academic disciplines have ownership in this cross-disciplinary minor. The hours required for the minor will be split between core courses on the essentials of entrepreneurship and selected courses from across the liberal arts spectrum.

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