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Emerson Foundation Establishes Endowed Chair in Entrepreneurship at Cayuga Community College

DATE: 02-06-2007

Auburn, NY?The Fred L. Emerson Foundation has made a grant of $500,000 to the Cayuga County Community College Foundation. This grant will establish the Fred L. Emerson Foundation, Inc. Endowed Chair in Enterprise and Innovation. Earnings from this endowment will provide partial support for a soon-to-be established position in the field of entrepreneurship.

“This outstanding grant will establish the first endowed chair of this magnitude at any community college in New York State,” said interim president Philip Gover. “The Fred L. Emerson Chair will enable Cayuga to attract and retain an exceptional leader to oversee entrepreneurial education at the College.”

Entrepreneurship is the term describing new business development with a precise focus on innovative products and niche markets. Entrepreneurs may be sole owners or partners in small start-up firms, or may be forward thinkers creating new business units at large corporations.

This field of study, notes Gover, is gaining attention in higher education. Cayuga business professor Thomas Paczkowski devoted a fall 2006 sabbatical to consultations with business and educational experts in the field, and drafted a proposed concept for entrepreneurial initiatives. The College will pursue a variety of activities, including credit courses, training and support for existing businesses, and an incubator facility to serve start-up firms.

“After reviewing the College's proposal, the executive committee of the Emerson Foundation agreed that we wanted to focus our attention on the credit-bearing courses at the College,” said Emerson executive director Daniel Fessenden. “The committee asked the College to refine its proposal and come back with specifics about creating an endowed chair in entrepreneurship.” The person holding the Fred L. Emerson Endowed Chair will coordinate a program of courses and working internships, particularly in the proposed business incubator.

“The enthusiastic support of the Emerson Foundation is a strong boost for the College and this new program,” said Gover. “We anticipate that this vote of confidence will encourage other funding sources to support the project also.”

“We are extremely pleased to associate the Emerson name with the College on this project,” Fessenden said. “This endowed chair is a fitting tribute to the memory of Fred L. Emerson, one of Central New York's greatest entrepreneurs.”

About the Cayuga County Community College Foundation

The Cayuga County Community College Foundation, Inc. is an autonomous body whose mission is to support educational and other related programs of Cayuga Community College. The Foundation seeks to provide growth and opportunities to the College, its students, faculty and staff through fund-raising activities and diligent fund management. Gifts from foundations, businesses and individuals provide the resources for new and innovative programs that are not covered by state, county and tuition funding sources. For further information on the CCCC Foundation, contact Jeffrey Hoffman, Executive Director, at 315-255-1792, extension 2328, or foundation@cayuga-cc.edu.