sealPurdue News

April 12, 2002

$7 million grant to build Purdue entrepreneurship center

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – The Purdue Board of Trustees today (Friday, 4/12) approved naming the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship and accepted the $7 million foundation grant that will make the center possible.

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The Burton D. Morgan Foundation, which has supported higher education in the Midwest for many years, will fund the center, part of Purdue's new $100 million Discovery Park.

The 31,000-square-foot building will be a two-story facility designed to connect to future adjacent buildings with overhead walkways. The project will include the construction of a 72-seat lecture room, a presentation room and several conference and break-out rooms for use by occupants in Discovery Park.

Construction on the center is scheduled to begin before the end of this year. Burton D. Morgan received his Purdue degree in mechanical engineering in 1938. In 1992, the university awarded him an honorary doctorate in management.

"The Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship will bring together all of Purdue's efforts to put the university's research into the marketplace," said Purdue President Martin C. Jischke. "The center not only will house our initiatives in entrepreneurism, but it also will form the critical link between Purdue and Indiana's economy."

John V. Frank, president of the Morgan Foundation, said: "Purdue's concept of combining higher education with entrepreneurship is very exciting. We believe this grant is an excellent use of the foundation's resources."

The Burton D. Morgan Foundation was established by Morgan, a Purdue alumnus, who now lives in Hudson, Ohio. Known for his entrepreneurism, he has started 50 companies, six of which have become major corporations, including Morgan Adhesives, one of the world's largest makers of pressure-sensitive adhesives. He also is president of Basic Search Co., an idea-development firm, and has written several books on entrepreneurism.

Morgan began sponsorship of the Burton D. Morgan Entrepreneurial Competition at Purdue in 1987 to help Purdue students develop an appreciation of the free market system and the role of the entrepreneur in a market economy.

Richard A. Cosier, dean of the Krannert School of Management and Leeds Professor of Management, is director of the Center for Entrepreneurship.

Cosier said, "With the Burton D. Morgan Entrepreneurial Competition and other initiatives at the Center for Entrepreneurship, we are nurturing an entrepreneurial culture at Purdue not only for our students but also for our professors."

The Center for Entrepreneurship will be home to:

• The Technology Transfer Initiative, which will research issues industry encounters when trying to license and market new technologies and products. As part of the initiative, the Innovation Realization Lab pairs engineering and management graduate students on projects to help them understand the way research fits in with social and commercial needs. It also will help faculty design courses to teach entrepreneurship.

• The Burton D. Morgan Entrepreneurial Competition, in which engineering and management students work together to demonstrate their ideas for new products or services and show how they could be developed into profitable businesses.

• The Purdue Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS) program, in which undergraduates work with community service agencies to find ways to use technology to solve problems and improve services.

• The New Ventures Laboratory, which will allow entrepreneurs and venture capitalists to visit campus and conduct workshops and also will provide students with the opportunity to administer a venture fund investing in new technologies.

• Forums where graduating students can present business plans to business and community leaders.

Goody Clancy and Associates of Boston will provide design, architectural and engineering services.

The Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship is one four major centers planned for the Discovery Park complex. The research park also will include the Birck Nanotechnology Center, a bioscience/engineering center and an e-enterprises center for researchers and students in fields including electrical engineering, computer science, biology, economics, management and the liberal arts.

Writer: J.M. Lillich, (765) 494-2077,

Sources: Martin C. Jischke, (765) 494-9708

John V. Frank, (330) 258-6512

Richard A. Cosier, (765) 494-4366,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

The Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurship is one of four centers planned for Purdue's Discovery Park, which will be located west of the university's central campus. Also at Discovery Park will be the Birck Nanotechnology Center, a bioscience/engineering center and an e-enterprise center.

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