Board of Trustees members pledge $3 million to LC

Illustration by Anna DeSmet

By Amelia Eichel

On Oct. 19, Lewis & Clark Board of Trustees Chair Stephanie Fowler ’97 and her husband, Irving Levin, pledged a $1 million unrestricted donation to LC. This announcement was followed by another unrestricted $1 million donation by Trustee Pat Mahaffy ’85 and a $1 million donation to the Center for Entrepreneurship by Life Trustees John and Susan Bates.

“Entrepreneurs and visionaries imagine the future they want to live in and then they create it,” John Bates said. “This is what we’re all about. That is the basis of our interest in this program. Now that it is up and running with absolutely wonderful leadership, Susan and I felt it was time to step in.”  

Mr. and Mrs. Bates have been part of the college since 1975. Mr. Bates was an Associate Professor of Finance at LC from 1975 to 1981. They both led study abroad trips and are now members of the Board of Trustees. The Center for Entrepreneurship will be renamed the John E. and Susan S. Bates Center for Entrepreneurship and Leadership.

“I think we are very lucky to have their names attached to the center,” Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship Samir Parikh said. “John Bates has been a huge supporter of the center both with his time and resources.”

Parikh hopes the money will help expand the center’s curriculum.

“We are trying to create a minor for LC students to provide a framework for entrepreneurial courses,” Parikh said.

“There’s a roadblock that the entrepreneurship center is facing and it’s about getting approval from the academic side of campus to teach their classes,” Max Clary ’18 said. “The (donation) money can help students get more resources, more access.”

Clary has taken advantage of the unique opportunities that the Center for Entrepreneurship provides.

“Samir (Parikh) and Chrys Hutchings (the Associate Director of the Center) have helped link me with a bunch of CEOs,” Clary said. “They’ve gotten me involved with Oregon Entrepreneurs Network where I was a finalist for the Wyatt Stanes Award. They helped me present to both the Advisory Board for the entrepreneur center and the Board of Trustees. Chrys Hutchings has spent tons of hours helping me start my second company. She also got me connected to TED talk so I’ll be giving a TED talk as well.”

The Center for Entrepreneurship currently serves as a resource for students across all three LC campuses. It helps students network, find internships and learn the skills necessary to be CEOs, entrepreneurs and visionaries.

“The frustrating part about college is you spend four years learning and taking all these classes just to get out of college realize that a small percentage of the skills you learn are actually applicable,” Clary said. “The entrepreneurship center is the only place I’ve found that the skills that I’m learning are being directly applied the next day.”

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