Edited by Michael H. Morris
In his Rice University Centennial Celebration address in October 2012, President David Leebron stated, ‘Houston is an entrepreneurial city, and Rice is an entrepreneurial university. An entrepreneurial university empowers its students and embarks them on a life of difference and impact, regardless of their chosen disciplines and profession. The entrepreneurial imperative incorporates the desire to lead, to create, to innovate and to build’. That entrepreneurial spirit was incorporated into academic initiatives with the founding of the Jones Graduate School of Business in 1976, and the hiring of its first entrepreneurship faculty member, Dr. Edward Williams, as the founder of a new program to teach and conduct research in the nascent area of entrepreneurship. At the time, only a handful of schools were teaching entrepreneurship and pioneering the development of a new discipline. The academic courses grew steadily over 20 years, with the hiring of both tenure-track and non-tenure faculty at Rice in the new field of entrepreneurship. A defining moment for Rice University took place in 1997, with inspiration from a Fortune magazine article.
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