Bob and Carolyn Turner, second and third from the right, stand with their son Andrew Turner '11, far right, Bob Turner's sister Susan Flinn, far left, and his mother Janet Turner.
November 15, 2012
By Frank Radosevich II
Bradley formally dedicated this month the Robert and Carolyn Turner School of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, an independent school providing students with skills needed to succeed and achieve in business.
A first of its kind in the nation, the Turner School offers all students across campus the opportunity to study entrepreneurship and innovation in classrooms and experiential settings.
The school is named in honor of the Turners, long-time supporters of Bradley who established the Robert and Carolyn Turner Center for Entrepreneurship in 2002. The Turner Chair of Entrepreneurship in the Foster College of Business Administration also is named in their honor.
“The Turner School will now give our students the tools and applied experiences they need to become successful entrepreneurs in a very uncertain economy,” said President Joanne Glasser at the dedication ceremony. “Bradley is deeply honored that the Turners have entrusted us with this profound responsibility.”
Bob Turner ’77 MBA ’78 said the idea for the school began in 1999 when he met with University officials to discuss the creation of a center for entrepreneurship. The concept eventually grew into a stand-alone academic unit that emphasizes new and creative ways of thinking in the world of business or social enterprises.
“The key to a thriving, vibrant economy in a global economy is innovation,” Bob Turner said. “It’s the ability for people not only to think about starting a business at some point in time but to be innovative throughout their entire career.”
A successful entrepreneur himself, Bob Turner and his brother Mark Turner ‘80 started their own investment business in 1990 in Berwyn, Pa. Today, as chairman and chief investment officer of Turner Investment, Bob Turner and his team manage about $11.6 billion in assets.
The Turner School, headquartered in the newly renovated Westlake Hall, is welcoming its first students this semester and the school plans to offer a minor in Entrepreneurship and Innovation and an Entrepreneurship Scholar Program.
Both require entrepreneurial courses and elective classes, while the Scholar Program, similar to Bradley’s Global Scholars Program, offers credit for specific experiential activities. Some activities may include participating in the Project Springboard Business Plan Competition, creating a new enterprise, pitching a new business plan or studying abroad in an entrepreneurial environment.
The new school will teach students how to start a business or social enterprise; network with colleagues, investors, employees and other stakeholders; evaluate opportunities and risks; develop products or services; and gain a global perspective on the business marketplace. The program will push students to think creatively and to seek out untapped opportunities and identify innovations that can be commercialized.