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December 18, 2007

Alex. Brown Center Receives Major Gift

Barnhill Gift Will Help Aspiring Entrepreneurs

CONTACT: Debbie Shapiro, Marketing Manager

Mike Lurie, Media Relations Director
Office: 410-455-6380
Cellphone: 443-695-0262

BALTIMORE, MD – The Alex. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) has received a pledge of $250,000 from one of the center’s most active leaders, Gregory Barnhill. Mr. Barnhill, a partner with Brown Advisory Securities, has served as chair of the center’s external advisory board for more than two years and has been a member of its board for four years.

This gift from Mr. Barnhill, his wife Lisa and son Scott, advances the Alex. Brown Center nearly to the halfway point of its $10-million fundraising goal, which includes a $2-million matching grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Funds raised will enable the innovative center to enhance its programs and educational offerings for students and faculty.

Established in 2000 with a grant from the Alex. Brown Foundation, the center seeks to provide students and faculty with opportunities to learn about and experience entrepreneurship. Its goal is to infuse entrepreneurial thinking throughout the campus and across all disciplines. Programs include academic courses, skill-building workshops, internships with local business leaders, and an annual business plan competition. Current course offerings include Entrepreneurship for IT and Careers in Music. Workshops are held each summer for university faculty in a variety of disciplines; this summer’s offering will be geared to faculty in the humanities.

While a strong focus on entrepreneurship is unusual for a university without a business school, the Alex. Brown Center strongly reflects UMBC’s entrepreneurial spirit and experience in economic development. Since its founding, the center has helped numerous students and faculty transform their ideas and expertise into viable business opportunities. One such business is Legendary Studios, a game and simulation development company founded by two students that now resides at UMBC’s technology business incubator.

“Mr. Barnhill’s generosity will allow us to enhance our programming and continue to support students interested in launching their own business ventures,” said Vivian Armor, director of the Alex. Brown Center. “Mr. Barnhill has been a valued supporter of the Alex. Brown Center for many years and we are grateful for his commitment to the center’s mission.”

"Lisa and I have been around—and been inspired by—entrepreneurs our whole lives,” said Mr. Barnhill. “We believe strongly in the importance of exposing young people to entrepreneurship, and know that this gift to UMBC and the Alex. Brown Center will make a big impact on developing future leaders."

UMBC President Freeman A. Hrabowski added, "It takes entrepreneurial leadership to inspire new entrepreneurs. We are honored to receive this gift and very excited about the opportunities it creates for our students."

Mr. Barnhill has a long history of civic involvement in the Baltimore area. He has donated his time and leadership skills to numerous organizations, including the Maryland Historical Society, Greater Baltimore Medical Center Foundation, Harbor Hospital, St. Paul School Board of Trustees, and Ocean Race Chesapeake.

For more information about the Alex. Brown Center for Entrepreneurship, please contact Vivian Armor at, or via phone at (410) 455-5740.

About UMBC:
UMBC is a medium-sized public research university of 12,000 undergraduate and graduate students who collaborate with faculty to address real-world challenges. Located just south of Baltimore near I-95 and the BWI airport, UMBC's residential campus houses state-of-the-art facilities in the sciences, engineering, arts, social sciences and humanities. UMBC combines the energy of a research university with the close community feel and attention to individual students found in liberal arts colleges.

Posted by crose at December 18, 2007 1:06 PM