The University of La Verne announced today that it has received a $ 2 million gift from property manager and philanthropist Randall Lewis to help establish an entrepreneurship center in Ontario.
The Randall Lewis Center for Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Social Impact will focus on increasing the economic power and impact of La Verne University’s students, alumni, local businesses, and nonprofits and community organizations, according to Marilyn Thomsen, Director of La Verne University. Public relations and media work.
The center will provide entrepreneurial training for multiple learning cohorts each year, integrating academic and practical approaches to job creation and long-term career support, with a special focus on underserved communities in the region, Thomsen said.
“I am delighted to be working with the University of La Verne again on a project that will create real and positive change in the communities of Inland Southern California,” said Lewis.
“By combining academic excellence with on-site training and experience, we will give students and existing business owners the opportunity to strengthen their own economic health and that of the region as a whole. The university’s commitment to underserved communities, as well as its proven track record in social and economic innovation, make it the perfect home for this new center. “
The center is located in Ontario, where the University of La Verne is already represented through its College of Law. The new Lewis Center will complement the city’s Innovation Center, a state-of-the-art business facility, and allow the university to expand its innovative education to the surrounding community. Additional locations are also possible at regional La Verne University locations such as Bakersfield, Irvine and Burbank.
“Randall Lewis did it again,” said Devorah Lieberman, president of La Verne University. “As one of our most active supporters, Mr. Lewis shares our mission to serve and support in interior Southern California and beyond. We are deeply grateful to work with him to create an unprecedented and impactful economic resource for our region. “
The Randall Lewis Center will integrate faculty expertise from all four of La Verne University’s existing colleges, working with offices such as the Small Business Development Center, the Office of Civic and Community Engagement and The La Verne Experience.
The program is led by a cadre of professors, community lawyers, and investors. According to Thomsen, strategic partnerships will be developed at local, regional, national and international levels, with a special focus on current and future businesses owned and operated by women, minorities and veterans.