University of Rochester

University of Rochester a National Winner in Kauffman Foundation 'Campus Initiatives' Program

December 15, 2003

Acknowledging the entrepreneurial spirit of the University of Rochester, the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation has selected the University as one of eight institutions across the country—and the only one in the Northeast—to receive a major, multi-year grant to make entrepreneurship education an even deeper ingredient of academic activity.

The foundation has awarded the University $3.5 million, which with matching funds will be part of a $10.5 million program over the next five years to embed entrepreneurship into programs across the disciplines and schools—thus affecting students and faculty in the Eastman School of Music, Warner School of Education and Human Development, and School of Nursing, as well as the College of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering, Simon School of Business Administration, and School of Medicine and Dentistry.

This initiative will also include the creation of a University Center for Entrepreneurship to identify new partnerships with alumni, local businesses, and nonprofit organizations, to encourage faculty to design coursework and programs, and to advance research into "best practices" in entrepreneurship education.

Among other programs, a tuition-free "Kauffman Take Five Entrepreneurial Year" will be created for selected undergraduates, modeled on the College of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering's well-known "Take Five Scholars Program" that provides a tuition-free fifth year of undergraduate study. Further, the College will work to develop an interdepartmental major in entrepreneurship and to design a new "cluster" in its landmark curriculum.

The Eastman School of Music's groundbreaking Institute for Music Leadership, designed to enable students, alumni, and professional musicians to become versatile music leaders shaping the musical and cultural future, will now include a new focus in "music entrepreneurship."

Direct benefits to the Greater Rochester community will come in the form of summer and year-long programs for area junior and senior high school students and for area educators.

"Great entrepreneurs are laced into the history of our University—in technology, the sciences, medicine and nursing, the arts—and that entrepreneurial spirit continues strongly today on campus," said President Thomas H. Jackson. "It is broadly evident across the disciplines, manifesting itself among our faculty and students in many different, powerful ways.

"The support of the Kauffman Foundation will have a transforming effect on our ability to have all of our constituencies become even more entrepreneurial than they are right now," he added.

Kauffman Campuses Initiatives Grants also went to Washington University in St. Louis, Wake Forest University, University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, University of Texas at El Paso, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Howard University, and Florida International University in Miami.

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation (, based in Kansas City, works with partners to advance entrepreneurship in America and improve the education of children and youth. The foundation was established in the mid-1960s by the late entrepreneur and philanthropist Ewing Marion Kauffman.

A Partial List of New Entrepreneurial Programs through the Kauffman Foundation "Campus Initiatives" Program


  • Creation of the Rochester Center for Entrepreneurship at the University, which will promote entrepreneurship study University-wide, with incentives to faculty and programs to promote cross-school activities. The Center also will conduct systematic research into how entrepreneurial success or failure can be predicted, what works in terms of entrepreneurial education, and what the impact of such education is on students after they graduate.


  • Two Kauffman Bridging Fellowships each year will enable faculty to "move" to another part of the University for a semester to pursue some aspect of entrepreneurship.

Undergraduate Curricular Initiatives

  • A Kauffman Take Five Entrepreneurial Year – a tuition-free fifth-year of entrepreneurship-related study for College, Eastman School, and School of Nursing undergraduates.

  • A new "cluster" in the distinctive Rochester Curriculum.

  • New courses in The Nature of Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Creation, and a Practicum in Entrepreneurship. The latter course will team students with mentors from the University's new entrepreneurship center, Rochester Area Community Foundation, and Leadership Rochester to develop and execute plans that benefit the Rochester community. One component will be internships at community agencies and local foundations.

  • Adaptation of Simon School courses for undergraduates.

Curricular Initiatives in the Professions

  • Eastman School of Music: A new focus on "music entrepreneurship" within the School's Institute for Music Leadership. Students will learn how to turn promising ideas into sound business plans.

  • Margaret Warner Graduate School of Education and Human Development: Entrepreneurship in education will be the focus of two new courses, Educational Entrepreneurship and Entrepreneurial Funding in Education. These will form the core of new certificate programs for those who provide professional development programs in school systems. Also, several new non-credit professional development seminars will be offered for students, alumni, and area educators.

  • School of Nursing: Establishment of the first-ever endowed faculty chair in nursing entrepreneurship, as well as implementation of a School of Nursing Entrepreneurial Cluster of interdisciplinary courses and the creation of the School of Nursing Kauffman Entrepreneurial Leadership Master's Track targeted toward development of nursing-related business plans.

  • William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration (also currently participating in the Kauffman Collegiate Entrepreneurship Network and the Kauffman Entrepreneur Internship Program): Addition of three new courses—Entrepreneurial Finance, Entrepreneurial Marketing and Operations, and Private Equity Lab. A fourth course, Survey of Entrepreneurs, will be formulated from existing courses.

Other student programs

  • Entrepreneurship will be a special emphasis in the mentoring and advising for women students through the College's Women in Science and Engineering (WISE) program; and it will be a focus for mentoring and counseling of minority students through the David T. Kearns Center for Leadership and Diversity in Science and Engineering.

External audiences

  • Community: Additional internships through the Urban Fellows Summer Student Internships Program, an existing partnership between the University, Leadership Rochester, and Rochester Area Community Foundation in which area college students now work in community-based summer internships in Rochester city neighborhoods.

  • Area youth: Through the College's Office of Special Programs, the establishment of a Young Entrepreneur's Academy, which will focus on entrepreneurship training to help keep at-risk students in school and academically talented students stimulated. It will involve a two-week summer program and a year-long experiential academic program (for students grades six through 12).

  • Alumni: Creation of an Alumni Entrepreneur Network for student mentoring and networking opportunities for young alumni.