Loyola receives nearly $1.5 million to expand entrepreneurship programs
| By Stephanie Weaver
Two Loyola University Maryland alumni and their families have made gifts—totaling more than $1.46 million—to further expand entrepreneurship at the University.
The gifts from Nick Simon, MBA, ’84, and the Frank family are helping to create the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE), which will enhance the entrepreneurial ecosystem at Loyola under the leadership of a new director, Wendy Bolger, and an entrepreneur-in-residence.
The CIE will consist of four components—the Baltipreneurs’ Institute, a resource to connect traditionally underserved entrepreneurs with Loyola faculty and alumni; an idea lab for rapid prototyping of student and faculty innovations; the University’s Entrepreneurship program, an emerging interdisciplinary entrepreneurship curriculum that includes both major and minor courses of study; and the Loyola Innovation Accelerator, which seeks to invest in creative ideas, business practices, and products that create capital and effect positive social change.
"Already, many Loyola alumni are innovators and entrepreneurs, but the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship makes it possible for us to infuse that spirit more fully into the curriculum for students of all academic disciplines," said Kathleen A. Getz, Ph.D., dean of the Sellinger School of Business and Management. "Thanks to Loyola's Jesuit liberal arts education, our students and alumni are well-prepared to make a difference personally and professionally in this diverse and changing world, and the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship will only strengthen the Loyola education and experience."
Tim Frank, MBA, ’85, is the representative of the Frank family and chairman of the investment committee of Frank Industries, a private investment family office. Frank said getting his MBA from Loyola was one of the best things he did during his career.
Frank’s father, George, ’50, attended Loyola in the mid-1940s. George always gave back to Loyola because he valued his education—and instilled the love of education in each of his seven children. The family started a scholarship fund at Loyola when George passed away five years ago.
When the opportunity to give to Loyola’s project focusing on entrepreneurship arose, Frank knew he wanted to support it. Frank’s dad, George, had an entrepreneur’s perspective and believed the liberal arts were needed to be a good businessman.
Frank and his family want to make sure education is accessible and financially feasible for future generation.
For Simon, his Loyola MBA gave him the skills to pursue his business in bio-tech. He has more than 30 years of operating and investment experience in the biopharmaceutical industry, including at Genentech, where he was vice president of business and corporate development. While at Genentech, he played an integral role in the acquisition, development, and approval of the company’s cancer products – Rituxan, Avastin, and Herceptin. Simon is currently the managing director of Clarus, a healthcare investment firm he co-founded in 2005. Since the founding, the company has invested more than $2.5 billion in more than 50 life science companies.
He and his wife, Susie, who earned her master’s in education from Loyola, live in California. After raising their three children, she has spent a number of years teaching ESL (English as a second language) to foreign medical researchers at the Gladstone Institutes, a private medical research institution affiliated with University of California, San Francisco. They wanted to give back and make an impact on Loyola—just as their degrees had left an impact on them.
“My Loyola education gave me the tools to pursue my career in bio-tech, as well as instill in me the Jesuit principle to do well by doing good for others. My wife, Susie, and I have been really fortunate," Simon said. "Hopefully this center can be a platform that future students can benefit from as well."
Terrence Sawyer, J.D., senior vice president, said the gifts have already begun to have an impact on the University.
"These generous gifts from the Frank and Simon families will have an extraordinary impact on our students," Sawyer said. "Loyola University Maryland is strengthened by our alumni and supporters who have a vision for our institution's bright future and want to invest in making those aspirations reality."