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ASU awarded $5 Million by Kauffman Foundation to unleash entrepreneurial spirit

December 14, 2006

After a rigorous national selection process, Arizona State University has been designated a leading entrepreneurial university. The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation awarded a $5 million grant to ASU to extend access to entrepreneurship education university-wide.

The grant is part of a $200 million effort to transform the way entrepreneurship education is taught in the nation's colleges and universities.

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"Entrepreneurship is essential to the competitiveness of Arizona and the nation," says ASU President Michael Crow. "The Kauffman Foundation is widely recognized as a national leader in the advancement of entrepreneurship, and this award places ASU among the elite in entrepreneurial education.

"Through this initiative, we will work with government, industry and members of the community to transform Greater Phoenix into a global economic leader," Crow adds.

The Kauffman Campuses Initiative was launched in 2003 to foster the creation of interdisciplinary entrepreneurship education programs in American higher education that are available to all students regardless of major.

ASU was one of only two schools chosen by the Kauffman Foundation for a $5 million grant, the other being the University of Wisconsin - Madison.

Other schools that were selected for grants as part of the Kauffman Campuses
Initiative include Brown University, Carnegie Mellon University, Georgetown
University, New York University, Purdue University, Syracuse University and
the University of Maryland - Baltimore County.

ASU was selected based on a series of criteria, including the ability to create a culture of entrepreneurship that permeates the campus, the potential to create new representative models, and the ability to partner with other foundations and funders.

According to Kimberly Loui, executive director of ASU’s Office of University Initiatives, ASU is pioneering the vision for a New American University. This provides an entrepreneurial framework for the institution “to act quickly, take calculated risks and engage communities in inventive and meaningful ways.“

"ASU is recognized for its broad, diverse and interdisciplinary entrepreneurial programs that go beyond business courses, establishing real-world venture creation opportunities for students in all disciplines," says Julia Rosen, ASU assistant vice president for economic affairs. "We seek to empower aspiring and working artists, nurses, managers, public administrators, educators and engineers to invent and implement solutions that improve the quality of life for Arizonans and people throughout the world."

From left, ASU President Michael Crow, speaks with Carl Schramm, president and CEO of the Kauffman Foundation, and valley businessmen and philanthropists Ira Fulton and Jerry Bisgrove. Schramm has made several visits to campus to discuss the work of his foundation.

With the Kauffman Foundation's current investment, combined with matching commitments from other funding partners, including the Burton D. Morgan Foundation in Akron, Ohio, more than $200 million will be directed to cross-campus entrepreneurship programs over the next five years.

"Arizona State University along with the other new Kauffman Campuses schools will empower all students on campus to access the skills, orientation, and networks that can lead to greater individual opportunities and to the creation of jobs, innovation, and prosperity for America," says Carl Schramm, president and CEO of the Kauffman Foundation.

The Kauffman Campuses Initiative launched with eight schools that were awarded a total of $25 million to transform the campus culture by providing entrepreneurship courses and programs within liberal arts, engineering and other disciplines outside of the business school.

"We know there's an entrepreneurial spirit sweeping across college campuses today, and we're thrilled to build on this momentum so that entrepreneurship becomes a natural and vital aspect of the American education experience," says Judith Cone, the Kauffman Foundation's vice president of entrepreneurship. "Our goal is to make the entire university system more entrepreneurial."

Indeed, entrepreneurship is fast becoming the hottest ticket on campus with the demand for entrepreneurship education growing exponentially in the past few decades. Of the two- and four-year accredited, not-for-profit colleges and universities in the United States, more than 80 percent currently teach entrepreneurship.

For more information on ASU and its Kauffman Campus initiative, visit the Web site or

The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation of Kansas City is a private, nonpartisan foundation that works with partners to advance entrepreneurship in America and improve the education of children and youth. The Kauffman Foundation was established in the mid-1960s by the late entrepreneur and philanthropist Ewing Marion Kauffman. Information about the Kauffman Foundation is available at