Kennesaw State University is teaming with one of the nation’s oldest historically Black universities to advance entrepreneurial and academic opportunities at both institutions.
In a formal agreement, Kennesaw State’s Robin and Doug Shore Entrepreneurship Center in the Michael J. Coles College of Business will partner with Wilberforce University’s Mark and Shelly Wilson Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation to promote entrepreneurial practices through student projects, faculty collaboration, research and mentorship during the 2021-22 academic year.
The partnership was initiated by Atlanta businessman Mark Wilson, who has ties to both universities as a Coles College of Business advisory board member and a Wilberforce alumnus and the benefactor of WU’s center. Wilberforce, located near Dayton, Ohio, is the country’s oldest private, historically Black university owned and operated by African Americans.
“Kennesaw State and Wilberforce will benefit from the strength of each university’s unique talents and enable long-term growth of our programs through this sustainable partnership,” said Robin Cheramie, dean of the Coles College of Business. “So much can be gained from sharing diverse ideas and perspectives, and this partnership provides great potential for collaboration between these two outstanding institutions. We thank Mark Wilson for leading this initiative that has the potential to impact many lives.”
With faculty members from both universities serving as mentors, Kennesaw State and Wilberforce students will collaborate on entrepreneurship projects aimed at developing and implementing solutions to community-based issues. Student activities, such as KSU’s Enactus team that promotes socially responsible entrepreneurship, can serve as a platform for collaboration across student populations.
“The memorandum of understanding between Wilberforce University and Kennesaw State University provides a roadmap of how two diverse institutions can enhance education worldwide,” said Johnny D. Jones, provost of Wilberforce University. “What makes this opportunity unique is that, as two diverse historical institutions, we both are proud to serve our students.”
Future plans for the partnership include opportunities for joint research, a student-faculty exchange, and other academic initiatives that will promote student and faculty success at both institutions.