Bauer program honors alumnus
A change in name doesn’t mean a change in attitude for The Cyvia and Melvyn Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, previously The Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. Housed by the C.T. Bauer College of Business, the center is host to a two-year undergraduate program initiated in 1993 by business lecturer William Sherill.
"I was filled with pride, but then I realized way too many people had been involved with this program along with me, so I switched to feeling joy," Sherrill said. "Joy, I feel, is a lot easier to share than pride."
Melvyn Wolff, chairman of the board of Star Furniture, for whom the center is named, spoke to students Tuesday at the naming ceremony. Wolff, a 1953 Bauer alumnus, said he hopes that future alumni will share their experiences from the entrepreneurship program with undergraduates after they graduate.
"If these skills make you successful," Wolff said, "I urge you to return here to UH, share your experience with other students and give them the opportunity to succeed as well."
UH President Renu Khator was among the guests attending the event. She said the program represented the synergy that resulted from the contributions of outstanding faculty, students and members of the community.
"I have been walking around campus since eight this morning, and I’ve seen nothing but pride," Khator said. "We had a similar program at the University of South Florida where I served as provost, and we always compared it to the program (at UH)."
The program was previously recognized by Entrepreneur Magazine and the Princeton Review when it was ranked second nationwide in October.
Business juniors Joseph J. Bourdeaux and Danny Klan said they saw the prestige and significance of the program well before it was nationally ranked.
"I was inspired to continue on with the program after taking the first introductory class," Klan said. "We are very excited to be among the first class graduating in this program."
Bourdeaux, a business owner, said he valued the networking skills the program offers students and plans to implement them within his own business after graduating.
"The best thing about this program is that it gears you to start your own business right after you graduate," Bourdeaux said. "Some classes, you learn, but you don’t get to use what you learn after graduating. Here, you actually keep the knowledge after you graduate, and that’s what keeps the program strong."