September 14, 2012

Wealth Manager Robert Turner, Wife Are Benefactors to New Bradley U. School

Standalone academic unit will focus on entrepreneurship and innovation

Students at Bradley University found a new offering in their course listings when they arrived back on campus this month to start the fall semester.

The Peoria, Ill.-based university has created the Robert and Carolyn Turner School of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, a stand-alone academic unit named for major benefactors to Bradley.

The new program, which is open to students in all disciplines, is designed to prepare them to pursue untapped opportunities and recognize how innovations can be commercialized, according to a statement.

Students will learn to think creatively and innovatively, and lead others in creating a business or social enterprise. They will network with colleagues, investors, employees and other stakeholders; evaluate opportunities and risks; and develop products or services.

The Turners previously established the Robert and Carolyn Turner Center for Entrepreneurship in 2002, and endowed the Turner Chair of Entrepreneurship in the Foster College of Business Administration.

Robert Turner, a graduate of the university and its business school, currently serves as chairman and chief investment officer of Turner Investments, a firm he co-founded in 1990. The Turner team manages some $12 billion in assets.

Gerald Hills will become the founding academic/executive director of the Turner School.

“This entrepreneurial learning laboratory will guide students to bring their ideas from thought to practice, from business feasibility to business success,” Hills said in the statement.

“Bradley has created a model to support innovative, collaborative students. It will stimulate interdisciplinary interaction among students preparing them for the type of environment they will encounter in their careers.”

According to the statement, students participating in the Turner School can pursue a minor in eEntrepreneurship and innovation or the Entrepreneurship Scholar Program. Both have required entrepreneurial courses and elective classes, while the Scholar Program, similar to Bradley’s Global Scholars Program, offers credit for specific experiential activities.

Those activities may include participating in the Project Springboard Business Plan Competition, creating a new business or studying abroad in an entrepreneurial environment.

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