2 July 2021 | Andrews University has announced a $2.8 million gift from the family of Dr. Fay Bradley. The gift will fund a new Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship.
An article in the Lake Union Herald describes Bradley (who passed away in January of 2021) as a “Pittsburg State Law School graduate, physician, and philanthropist.”
“The donation will help us build a physical innovation space with both specialized and open areas,” said University President Andrea Luxton, as quoted by the Lake Union Herald. “It will also aid in the appointment of a Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the development of industry and community partnerships.”
The Lake Union Herald article explains that the university began considering ideas for the Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship during the 2017–2018 academic year.
For starters, the university decided to launch the interdisciplinary Innovation and Entrepreneurship Certificate.
But the vision was bigger than that:
“We need a place where students can find an atmosphere of creativity and entrepreneurship. Engineering majors, business majors, dietetics majors, theology majors—any major can benefit by having mentorship, guidance, and space to develop new and exciting ideas,” said Ralph Trecartin, Associate Provost and Dean of the School of Business Administration, to the Lake Union Herald. “We envision new product developments, new businesses launched, new ministries created, and new social innovations that [will] benefit an array of organizations.”
“[The center] will enable students to enrich their curriculum and research projects, find a space to explore self-start projects, and interface with business and industries that could offer work opportunities and/or internships,” said Luxton. “Additionally, it will provide opportunities for students to learn design thinking and methodologies of creating new ideas in all discipline areas. It will encourage students to not stop at knowledge accumulation or analysis, but to add action and implementation.”
Luxton also added, “My dream is that employers will be increasingly excited to hire an Andrews University graduate because, amongst their value, knowledge, and skills is the capacity to dig deeply, reflect robustly and then create solutions and pathways that will bring increased quality and meaning to the world.”
Future gifts to the center will help fund further resources for students to use at the center. Also, gifts will be used to create a capital fund to invest in innovations, new equipment, and possible building expansion.