Richard Schulze named to new endowed chair in entrepreneurship

Richard Schulze, left, chairman of Best Buy, and Bill Gates, chairman of Microsoft, helped dedicate Schulze Hall on the Minneapolis campus Thursday, Oct. 20. Schulze also was named to a new endowed chair in entrepreneurship.

Richard Schulze named to new endowed chair in entrepreneurship

The University of St. Thomas College of Business announced yesterday that Richard Schulze will become the first holder of the college’s Best Buy Distinguished Chair in Entrepreneurship.

The endowed chair will honor Schulze’s legacy as founder and current chairman of Best Buy Co. Inc., while advancing the entrepreneurial-thinking skills of the future work force and supporting the business community in the Twin Cities.

Schulze is a member of the university’s board of trustees and chair of the College of Business’ strategic board of governors. In his role as endowed chair holder, he will serve as a guest lecturer for undergraduate and graduate entrepreneurship students.

The announcement was a surprise addition to a full day of events where Microsoft founder Bill Gates helped the Twin Cities community dedicate the Schulze School of Entrepreneurship and the 86,000-square-foot Schulze Hall where it is housed. Schulze and his late first wife, Sandra, in 2000 donated $50 million to St. Thomas; the gift remains Minnesota’s largest gift to a college or university.

“Dick Schulze has blessed our coffers, campus and boardroom with his generous contributions in previous years, helping the business school gain more of a national presence,” said Dr. Christopher Puto, dean of the University of St. Thomas College of Business.“ For him to extend his contributions to the classroom is a great honor to all of us. Our entrepreneurship students will benefit immensely.”

This will be the 11th endowed chair position at the College of Business and the third within its Schulze School of Entrepreneurship. Michael P. Sullivan Sr., former CEO of International Dairy Queen and partner at Twin Cities law firm Gray Plant Mooty, was the most recent endowed chair to join the institution when he became the Opus Distinguished Chair in the Center for Family Enterprise last month.