For the last 30 years, the McColl School has been dedicated to providing a high-quality business education to individuals who strive to become leaders who are highly competent, understand the importance of character and are committed to shaping their communities in meaningful ways. It is with this in mind that the School has established a firm commitment to entrepreneurship, both within its curriculum and through its relationships with the leading entrepreneurs throughout the region.
Perhaps one of the biggest building blocks within the McColl School's entrepreneurial foundation lies within the Entrepreneurial Leadership Circle (ELC), a group that was founded by Hugh L. McColl, Jr. and the late Dr. Billy O. Wireman, in the early 1990's. It is a network of established entrepreneurs in the Charlotte region, which provides counsel to the MBA students at the McColl School - through business plan judging, classroom presentations, etc. - along with monetary support through scholarship funding (more than $30,000 is given to students each year). The group also hosts various events throughout the year, including: 1) half-day seminars on entrepreneurial decision making; 2) quarterly lunches to discuss the latest issues in business; 3) an annual Quail Hollow event that has hosted some of the area's most prominent businesspeople; and 4) the Carolinas E&Y Entrepreneur of the Year annual judges' meeting.
The McColl School and ELC established the Carolinas Entrepreneur Hall of Fame in the summer of 2010, honoring the region's pioneering entrepreneurs and community leaders. On October 7, 2010, members of the first and founding classes were formally inducted at the Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, N.C. The Class of 2010 honorees include: Food Lion founder Ralph Ketner; Family Dollar Stores founder Leon Levine; and Jerry Richardson, founder of Spartan Food and Carolina Panthers owner. The founding class includes (all were honored posthumously): William Henry Belk, Belk, Inc.; James Edgar Broyhill, Broyhill Furniture Industries; Thomas H. Davis, Piedmont Airlines; James B. Duke, Duke Power Co.; R.J. Reynolds, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company; and Leroy Springs, Springs Cotton Mills. The School and University are honored to have these names associated with the Hall of Fame, and look forward to honoring more entrepreneurs throughout the years to come (a new class will be inducted every fall).Other recent accomplishments surrounding the School's focus on entrepreneurship include adding a minor in entrepreneurial leadership. Students throughout Queens' academic programs may now bridge disciplines and incorporate entrepreneurial thinking into their chosen areas. In addition, in the fall of 2009, the McColl School established the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership, which is designed to be the hub for entrepreneurial scholarship and dialogue in the Charlotte business community. It offers a tremendous network of resources to students and the emerging class of small business owners throughout the region. And along with the Center came the School's founding Entrepreneurs-in-Residence, Louis Foreman and Joan Zimmerman, both of whom are ELC Board members and serve as mentors to undergraduate and graduate students, as well as resources to our community. Foreman is founder and CEO of Enventys and creator of the Emmy Award-winning PBS show, "Everyday Edisons." Zimmerman is founder of Southern Shows, Inc., which runs 21 major exhibit shows in 11 markets. She is also a member of the N.C. Business Hall of Fame, and past recipient of the Charlotte BusinessWoman of the Year Award.