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Leonard H. Lavin (left) and SDSU President Elliot Hirshman celebrate the naming of the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center. Leonard H. Lavin (left) and SDSU President Elliot Hirshman celebrate the naming of the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center.

New Name for Entrepreneurship Center

The center’s benefactor, Leonard H. Lavin, was celebrated at a Feb. 15 ceremony.
By Suzanne Finch

Its official – San Diego State University’s Entrepreneurial Management Center has been named the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center in honor of long-time supporter Leonard H. Lavin.

On Feb. 15, SDSU President Elliot Hirshman, College of Business Dean Michael Cunningham, and a host of other dignitaries, gathered for a ribbon-cutting ceremony hosted by the SDSU College of Business Administration. 

Lavin, the 93-year-old founder and chairman emeritus of Alberto Culver, has been a major supporter of SDSU’s Entrepreneurial Management Center for years. He came from his home in the Chicago area to participate in the ribbon cutting.

“Leonard Lavin’s knowledge and insight have fueled the spirit of entrepreneurship across the San Diego State community,” said Cunningham.

“This new and transformational gift will enhance our academic education, provide students with hands-on entrepreneurship opportunities and forever link our program with the Lavin corporate legacy.”

The Center, along with the management department in the College of Business, are the anchors of SDSU’s entrepreneurship curriculum — featuring programs, workshops, internships, resources and events that help students transform their classroom learning into practice.

Lavin’s most recent endowment will expand the center’s scope with new programs such as a speaker series, an entrepreneur-in-residence program and a micro venture fund for student start-ups.

“Mr. Lavin has a remarkable rapport with young people,” said Alex DeNoble, professor of Management and executive director of the Lavin Entrepreneurship Center. “As a mentor to students, he is both pragmatic and inspirational, and he knows precisely the tools and experiences our students need to achieve success.”

SDSU awarded Lavin an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters in May 2012.