Earlier this year, students gathered at the Comstock Concert Hall on the campus of the University of Louisville to listen to nationally-known composer Rob Kapilow and to contemplate the connection between listening to the music of Mozart and fostering collaborative business culture.
If that sounds different from what you’d imagine of a standard college course, it is. Scholars at the University of Louisville’s Center for Free Enterprise are pushing well past what is standard to expand exceptional opportunities for students in their communities.
A key facet of the school’s business education is digging into how and where value is created. Thanks to a trio of major grants, including one from the Charles Koch Foundation, the center will be able to expand on that idea and reach more students.
“It’s important that people understand that principled businesses are helping society,” Dr. Stephan Gohmann, director of the center, said. “We’re working to engage students and provide them the skills to become budding entrepreneurs. We want them to understand that business is more than just a good idea. It’s about the importance of serving your customers, your employees, and your suppliers—to treat everybody well to have an impact.”
The $737,000 foundation gift, along with a combined $5 million from the Menard family and the Joseph W. Craft III Foundation, will be used to expand its research and teaching capabilities. Two new members of the entrepreneurship faculty will help doctoral students work on their dissertation and teaching topics.
Charles Koch Foundation Executive Director Ryan Stowers said, “We are thrilled to join the Menard family and the Joseph W. Craft III Foundation to continue our support for the Center for Free Enterprise. The center is a vibrant part of the campus. By partnering with scholars from other schools within the university—from Music to Arts and Sciences—and hosting discussions with a wide range of creators and innovators, the center is empowering students within the business school and beyond to discover how their unique talents can be used to enrich their lives, and their community.”