Carl H. Lindner College of BusinessCarl H. Lindner College of BusinessUniversity of Cincinnati

Carl H. Lindner College of Business

$1 Million Gift Enhances Entrepreneurial 'Ecosystem' at UC's Lindner College of Business

Monday, December 19, 2016 6:29 PM
Elroy and Elaine Bourgraf's generosity will fund a new professorship linking UC students' ideation to new venture commercialization.

The University of Cincinnati today announced the establishment of the Bourgraf Professorship of Entrepreneurial Practice at the Carl H. Lindner College of Business. The new professorship, made possible by a $1 million endowment from Elroy and Elaine Bourgraf, supports the college’s Center for Entrepreneurship, recognized for its long tradition of supporting students’ entrepreneurial endeavors.

The endowment specifically supports the center’s search for a proven entrepreneur to develop new opportunities for expanding the university’s reach in the new venture business community. The new position is expected to be occupied this fall.

“This enhancement to UC’s Center for Entrepreneurship will bridge the gap between classroom ideation and new venture commercialization,” said Lindner College of Business Dean David Szymanski. “Elroy and Elaine Bourgrafs’ success in building a now global company was born from a new business venture, so we are fortunate to have them as partners in this effort.”

The new faculty member will broaden the center’s portfolio of programs to include:

  • Conferences and panels for sharing experience, knowledge and connections among both experienced and emerging entrepreneurs, investors, scientists, engineers, faculty and others;
  • Enhanced collaboration with other UC centers and programs like the UC Economics Center, Goering Center and the Live Well Collaborative;
  • New partnerships with global and local businesses and foundations like 3M, P&G and the Kauffman Foundation;
  • Expanded reach of the UC Entrepreneurship Center’s Advisory Board;
  • Engagement with new audiences and identification of outreach strategies that bring renewed interest and focus to the center and to the Lindner College of Business;
  • Added resources to enhance the university and region’s “Entrepreneurial Ecosystem.”

“The University of Cincinnati continues to find ways to integrate the academic experience with real world business applications, and we are grateful to El and Elaine for supporting that mission and for all they have done for the university over the years,” said UC President Gregory H. Williams. “UC is proud to be a significant educational and research force for entrepreneurship, which so critically important to the economic development of our region, state and nation.”

The center’s core faculty will be enhanced by collaborations with colleagues in the Lindner College of Business’ Goering Center for Family and Private Business, Real Estate Center, Center for Economics Education and Research, Carl Lindner III Center for Insurance and Risk Management, and Professional Selling and Business Analytics Centers. Partnerships extend university-wide to initiatives like the UC Medical Device Innovation and Entrepreneurship Program and the Live Well Collaborative.

“We are so pleased to play a leading role in establishing the Bourgraf Professorship of Entrepreneurial Practice,” said UC graduate and chairman and founder of Ferno, Washington, Inc., El Bourgraf. “Elaine and I have been very fortunate to have turned a good idea into a sound business, and eventually, a global firm.We are so proud that this gift will impact and inspire budding entrepreneurs to do the same for generations to come.”

The gift contributes to UC’s $1 billion Proudly Cincinnati campaign, which has raised more than $876 million in private support for the university since 2005.

Read the Cincinnati Enquirer story here.