• <div style="background-image:url(/live/image/gid/198/width/1600/height/300/crop/1/50546_Middle_South_drone1.rev.1554236092.jpg)"/>

Forester News

Coming Soon: Oppenheimer Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

The right learning and work environment can make all the difference as today’s students look for new ways to collaborate, innovate, and problem solve. That’s why the College is creating a new center for entrepreneurship and innovation in a prime space in the Donnelley and Lee Library, centrally located on Middle Campus.

Designed specifically for the College’s most popular and growing minor, the Oppenheimer Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (OC) will “facilitate collaboration in the pursuit of identifying problems worth solving and mobilizing the people, resources, and networks to solve them,” Chair of Entrepreneurship and Innovation and Associate Professor of Economics Amanda Felkey said.

The new space is made possible by a donation from two alumni, Jim ’65 and Harry ’66 Oppenheimer, along with their brother, Ted. Located on the second floor of the library in the area that once housed the College’s periodical reading room, “the OC will be designed to provide spaces and opportunities for students to think, do, and share in a way that will foster the entrepreneurial mindset, and spark and nurture entrepreneurial activity and innovation,” Director of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program (ENTP) Patricia “Trish” Thomas said.

In addition to providing a home for the ENTP program, the new center will be a place for students to collaborate with each other, faculty, mentors, and community members. To that end, students enrolled last fall in Thomas’ Entrepreneurial and Social Ventures I: Product-Market Fit class worked together to develop the programming needs for the new space, including areas to think, do, and share. “Their work informed and interacted with designs for the space professionally developed in the same timeframe,” President Schutt said.

As a result of that collaboration, the Oppenheimer Center will feature shared workspaces, a classroom that can convert to a public presentation space, video conferencing screens, whiteboards, locked storage, designated workspaces for students pursuing real-world ventures, and as much sound-absorbing material as possible. “The Oppenheimer Entrepreneurship and Innovation Center will give all students an effective and meaningful space to collaborate with each other, mentors, and community stakeholders in a positive, functional, and flexible environment,” Thomas said. Watch for the grand opening in September 2020.

— Linda Blaser