Quincy University has announced the establishment of a Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation to serve as a resource for faculty and students and provide experiential learning opportunities beyond the classroom walls.  The center will provide interdisciplinary programming and will offer professional development, seminars, events, and courses for alumni and the local community.

“Entrepreneurial thinking and skills complement and expand the study and practice of business as well as many other disciplines, such as the arts, science and technology, human services, humanities, and education,” said Dr. Sarah Vordtriede-Patton, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Entrepreneurial initiative and innovation are critical attributes in a rapidly changing economy and in the world today and into the future.”

The Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation is made possible by a major gift from QU alumni Mike ’72 and Carole (Hughes) ’73 Hennessy.

“We have been supporting entrepreneurship and self-employment education for quite some time,” said the Hennessys. “Some of the most impactful programs have been at smaller Liberal Arts schools like QU.  We have been having very productive discussions with QU and are in the process of helping make strong connections to the entrepreneurial ecosystem. It’s very encouraging!”

The Hennessys have been generous supporters of the university for many years and were named the Quincy University Co-Alumni of the Year in 2013.  Mike served for many years in officer and board roles with Fannie May Candy Shops.  He also served as the President and CEO of the Coleman Foundation, which focuses on education, cancer and developmental disabilities.  He retired in 2021 after more than 30 years of service.  Carole is a watercolor artist and exhibits in national and international shows.  She serves as president of the Watercolor Honor Society and on the board of the Illinois Watercolor Society.

Founded in 1860 by Franciscan friars, Quincy University is a small Catholic university emphasizing the sciences, liberal arts and the professions. Quincy University offers undergraduate, graduate and adult education programs integrating practical experience and Franciscan values. Faculty and advisors work with students to design customized success plans to help them graduate on time, find their passion and prepare them for life. QU is a member of NCAA Division II for intercollegiate athletics. For more information, please visit www.quincy.edu or contact the Office of Community Relations at (217) 228-5275 or communityrelations@quincy.edu. Quincy University. Success by Design.