Denison Internship and Ventures Program Earns Grant from the Burton D. Morgan Foundation
Posted: March 2, 2005
GRANVILLE -- Denison University has been awarded a $250,000 grant from the Burton D. Morgan Foundation to support a program of hands-on learning through entrepreneurial internships and ventures, administered by the Office of Career Services and the Organizational Studies Program. The grant endows a fund that will facilitate students' real-life experiences in entrepreneurial activities by offering stipends for internships with start-up enterprises, small businesses, and non-profits that exhibit entrepreneurial characteristics. The grant also will support students' individual ventures in entrepreneurship such as starting a small business or marketing an invention.
The Burton D. Morgan Entrepreneurial Internship and Venture Fund will give Denison students the opportunity to participate in early, formative experiences in "learning by doing." In Denison's programs, entrepreneurship is broadly defined as the creation of value through innovation and ingenuity. "A liberal arts education promotes the spirit of entrepreneurship," said Denison President Dale T. Knobel. "It is an education that teaches the student to make connections, to think independently, to relish engagement in real-life experiences, and to learn from the consequences -- be they success or failure."
"We anticipate longer-term outcomes as well," Knobel continued. "With the Fund supporting four to six high-quality student experiences each summer, it will not be long before a significant body of alumni of this Fund will be out in the world, putting their experiences to new and creative uses. We hope that they will return the favor to Denison by sharing their experiences and offering internship opportunities to even more students."
Internships and ventures will be awarded and overseen by Denison's Office of Career Services and by the College's Organizational Studies Program. Assistant Director of Career Services for Internships Maureen Feeney points out that start-up enterprises, other small businesses, and non-profits are the least likely types of organization to be able to pay an intern. "Yet these are the positions," she notes, "that are most likely to provide students with true entrepreneurial experiences." David Przybyla, Director of Denison's Organizational Studies Program, commented further that "too often, fine opportunities for summer entrepreneurial internships must be dropped from consideration because they do not offer the student a stipend for living expenses, transportation and other costs."
The grant follows an earlier $8 million gift from the Burton D. Morgan Foundation to establish the Burton D. Morgan Center on the Denison campus. The Morgan Center, a multi-use building designed by Graham Gund Architects, provides new spaces for, among other offices, Career Services and Organizational Studies. For both these departments, the new building has enhanced visibility and efficacy, provided learning and interview spaces, and fostered interactions between students and alumni, many of whom offer internship positions. "The Burton D. Morgan Foundation has been a tremendous supporter of our efforts to enhance education through bringing people together," Knobel said. "They understand that good things happen when people's paths cross in the cause of education. We are deeply grateful for all that the Burton D. Morgan Center is making possible for our students."
Students who obtain funding through the new Burton D. Morgan endowment will be asked to provide written reports that evaluate their internship or venture experiences. These reports will be shared with other students, with faculty, and with the Burton D. Morgan Foundation. Open sessions at which students discuss their experiences are also planned for various venues within Morgan, including the Entrepreneurial Incubator room and the amphitheater.
The Burton D. Morgan Foundation, based in Akron, was established in 1967. Its founder, Burton D. Morgan, died in 2003. The Foundation invests "in organizations and institutions that foster the entrepreneurial spirit."
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