Twenty-five years ago when Charles H. Lundquist '42 made a gift of $1 million to create the Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship (LCE), he fundamentally changed the way entrepreneurship was taught at the University of Oregon.
Back in 1989, a collegiate center for entrepreneurship was a novel idea. Today, there are thousands of such centers around the world.
Thanks to Lundquist's foresight and generosity, LCE has spent a quarter century at the vanguard of entrepreneurial education. Entrepreneur magazine and The Princeton Review have ranked it in the top 25 more than half a dozen times. Fortune ranked our New Venture Championship (NVC) business plan competition—held yearly in Portland and now in its 24th year—one of the top 15 investment competitions in the world. Bloomberg Businessweek has put NVC in the world's top three.
Top guest speakers visit our classes regularly and our students gain significant hands-on experience through offerings like the Oregon MBA program's Venture Launch Pathway, the UO's Technology Entrepreneurship Program, opportunities to work side by side with angel investors, and more. Add to that, the center's economic impact, which continues long after students graduate, with many successful startups launched out of our program or by our alumni. And, all this vibrant activity came from a single visionary gift.
“Charles Lundquist’s generosity not only filled a need for the college, it created a whole new opportunity for an outstanding student experience,” said LCE program manager Nathan Lillegard. “I see the Lundquist legacy in our enterprising students and dedicated instructors. Their energy and passion for entrepreneurship is unceasing and the potential for the center is unlimited. We continue to be grateful for the support of the Lundquist family and we look forward to the bright future ahead.”
For the Lundquist family, the center embodies Charles Lundquist’s perpetual drive, innovative thinking, and thoughtful risk-taking. It is a crucible for creating and managing successful new ventures and developing the entrepreneurial spirit.
“The success of the Lundquist Center for Entrepreneurship and its core focus of empowering and encouraging the entrepreneurial spirit in our students, educators, and business leaders remains a significant source of pride and admiration for our family,” said Jeff Loftus, MBA ’95, son-in-law of Jeanne and Charles Lundquist.
According to Jeanne Lundquist, the center's dedication to staying at the forefront of the fast-moving field more than fulfills her husband's pioneering vision.
“When Charles made the generous gift to the college of business to seed the center’s start, it was really more of a heartfelt and lifelong challenge for the center and the business school to become the premier catalyst for entrepreneurial education and innovative thinking, in and out of the classroom for all future generations,” she said. “If Charles were here today, we know he’d be beaming with pride that the center has been, and will continue to be, at the forefront of entrepreneurial education, research and innovation on a national and global level.”
As we celebrate the center's 25th anniversary, we sincerely thank the Lundquist family for what they have enabled and empowered. We pledge to continue the tradition of inspiring future entrepreneurs while aspiring to the lead the nation and world in business education.
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