Bradley creates Turner School of Entrepreneurship and Innovation

September 6, 2012

Peoria, IL (September 6, 2012) Bradley University has created the Robert and Carolyn Turner School of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, the first school of its type in the nation.

The Turner School of Entrepreneurship and Innovation is a stand-alone academic unit, offering students in all disciplines opportunities to study entrepreneurship and innovation in classrooms and experiential settings. Entrepreneurship education is historically restricted to students studying business or engineering, and is housed in a specific college, while the Turner School is available to students throughout the University. The Turner School is welcoming its first students this semester.

“Our groundbreaking School of Entrepreneurship and Innovation will nurture students’ entrepreneurial behaviors, innovation, creativity and collaboration,” President Joanne K. Glasser said. “I thank Robert and Carolyn Turner for helping create this distinctive school that will offer an outstanding educational opportunity for our students, and will move Bradley toward national distinction.”

Students participating in the Turner School can pursue a minor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation or the Entrepreneurship Scholar Program. Both have required entrepreneurial courses and elective classes, while the Scholar Program, similar to Bradley’s Global Scholars Program, offers credit for specific experiential activities. Those activities may include participating in the Project Springboard Business Plan Competition, creating a new business or studying abroad in an entrepreneurial environment.

Students enrolled in the Turner School will learn to think creatively and innovatively; lead others in creating a business or social enterprise; network with colleagues, investors, employees and other stakeholders; evaluate opportunities and risks; develop products or services; and gain a global perspective on the business marketplace. The program will prepare students to pursue untapped opportunities and recognize how innovations can be commercialized.

Dr. Gerald Hills, the Turner Chair of Entrepreneurship and a pioneer in entrepreneurial education, will become the founding academic/executive director of the Turner School. Hills recently was recognized with the Karl Vesper Pioneer Award given annually to a significant person in the entrepreneurship discipline, who has overcome obstacles in advancing entrepreneurship within the academic environment and who has pioneered significant change in the field.

“This entrepreneurial learning laboratory will guide students to bring their ideas from thought to practice, from business feasibility to business success. Bradley has created a model to support innovative, collaborative students. It will stimulate interdisciplinary interaction among students preparing them for the type of environment they will encounter in their careers,” Hills said.

The Turners are long-time supporters of the University, establishing the Robert and Carolyn Turner Center for Entrepreneurship in 2002. The Turner Chair of Entrepreneurship in the Foster College of Business Administration also is named in their honor.

Robert Turner, a native of Yates City, Ill., graduated from Bradley in 1977 with a degree in accounting and received his MBA from the University a year later. He currently serves as chairman and chief investment officer of Turner Investments LP in Berwyn, Pa., a firm he co-founded in 1990. The Turner team manages approximately $12 billion in assets. Mr. Turner has served on the Bradley Board of Trustees since 1998. The Turners reside in Paoli, Pa., and are the parents of four children, including Andrew, a 2011 Bradley University graduate.

Bradley is a private, independent university in Peoria, Ill., offering 6,000 students the choice of more than 100 academic programs. Bradley links academic excellence, experiential learning and leadership development with an entrepreneurial spirit for a world-class education. Its size provides students with extensive resources not available at most private colleges and the personal attention not commonly found at large universities.