Major Gift Boosts Entrepreneurship Initiatives

UAlbany’s entrepreneurship initiatives are getting a significant boost through a $1.5 million gift from area philanthropists J. Spencer and Patricia Standish. Their gift will endow the Standish Professorship in Entrepreneurship in the School of Business.

gift boosts entrepenuership
School of Business students join Patricia and J. Spencer Standish and Dean Donald Siegel in front of the Business Building room named in their honor. Left to right are Steven Gagliardo ’15, Jameson Wells ’14, Mrs. and Mr. Standish, Dean Siegel, Lauren Uraski ’13, ’14, Najwa Zarook ’13, and Nicholas Desimone ’16.

The Standish Professor will help counsel UAlbany’s chapter of the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA), which serves middle and high school students, as well as assist the award-winning Small Enterprise Economic Development (SEED) Program. A joint social entrepreneurship program of the School of Business and the School of Social Welfare, SEED provides entrepreneurial training, character-based loans, and support to local entrepreneurs. The Standish Professor will also help prepare students for the $500,000 New York State Student Business Plan Competition, which the School of Business organizes annually with the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering and Syracuse University.

The Standish Professorship will leverage three new tenure-track faculty positions in entrepreneurship that UAlbany is gaining through the NYSUNY 2020 initiative. These include two tenure-track professors specializing in social entrepreneurship and a tenure-track professor for life sciences entrepreneurship.