A rendering of the Lubar Center for
MILWAUKEE — A $10 million gift from Sheldon and Marianne Lubar
will be used to establish a new entrepreneurship center on the
University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee campus.
In an announcement Thursday, UWM Chancellor Mark Mone said the
center will enhance and expand the school’s entrepreneurial
programming and will be used by students, start-ups and growing
companies in the region.
This is the Lubars’ second $10 million gift to UWM. The first
came in 2006 and was used to endow professorships and student
scholarships at what is now the Lubar School of Business.
“Marianne and I have made entrepreneurship a part of our lives
for more than 50 years,” Sheldon Lubar said. “Marianne in
philanthropy, and I in business. Our four children are now doing
the same. We believe education and entrepreneurship are the
pathways to a happy, productive and rewarding life.”
UWM will construct a new building at the corner of E. Kenwood
Boulevard and Maryland Avenue for the new Lubar Center for
Entrepreneurship. The building also will be home to a new
welcome center, which will be the first stop for visitors.
As a public urban research university, officials say UWM is
positioned to provide students with opportunities to collaborate
with companies and nonprofit organizations.
Students at UWM receive training in entrepreneurial thinking and
practice, with opportunities to start new businesses and scale
up existing firms. The training is designed to help graduates
enter the job market with the skills they need to be successful.
“It is critical for UWM students and alums to be creative and
entrepreneurial thinkers,” Mone said. “Wisconsin has fallen
behind other states in creating new jobs and launching startup
companies. At UWM, we’ve worked to create strong business
partnerships and student engagement in innovation and
entrepreneurship is at an all-time high.”
The center’s activities will include leading an effort to expand
“ideas challenge” courses that pair entrepreneurship activities
with existing curriculum.
The Lubars’ gift will be used to establish and operate the
center. A center director will oversee and coordinate the
center’s programs with faculty members already engaged in
entrepreneurship at UWM.
Sheldon Lubar is founder and chairman of Lubar & Co., a private
investment firm. He also served as assistant secretary of the
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, commissioner
of the Federal Housing Administration and president of the UW
System Board of Regents. He co-founded and served as president
of the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute.