New Scholarship Aims to Foster Oregon Entrepreneurship
A new merit scholarship being offered at Lewis & Clark aims to encourage Oregon high school students to study entrepreneurship as part of their liberal arts experience.
The scholarship is the brainchild of Brent Hutchings BA ’84 and Chrys Hutchings. Brent earned his bachelor’s degree from Lewis & Clark before going on to earn his MBA at Stanford University. He serves on Lewis & Clark’s Board of Trustees. Chrys is associate director of the college’s John E. and Susan S. Bates Center for Entrepreneurship and Leadership.
Any student who attends high school in Oregon (or an Oregon resident attending high school elsewhere) and is passionate about entrepreneurship is encouraged to apply to be an Entrepreneurship Scholar. Oregon residents who wish to transfer from their four-year or community college are also encouraged to apply. Scholarships will be available to selected students who apply to begin school in the fall of 2020.
“We created this scholarship specifically for Oregon students because we believe in the power of entrepreneurship to impact the community in which they live,” said Brent. “We especially want to encourage students in rural Oregon to study entrepreneurship and the liberal arts at Lewis & Clark, so they can take the skills they’ve acquired and help propel their rural economies forward.”
Brent is CEO and owner of North River Boats, a manufacturer of recreational, commercial and government boats in the southern Oregon city of Roseburg. In 2017, he and Chrys transferred a third of their company ownership to employees through the creation of an employee stock ownership program. They intend to make successive grants until the company is fully employee-owned at no cost to the employees.
The mission of the Bates Center is to leverage the liberal arts to help students become the best version of themselves. The Center hosts entrepreneur Lunch with a Leader, Idea Hour, and Expert in Residence events, teaches academic classes on entrepreneurship and leadership, and offers immersive entrepreneurship experiences such as its new internship class.
Said Chrys, “The common thread of all Bates Center experiences is engaging an entrepreneurial mindset to apply the adaptability, critical thinking, and problem solving of liberal arts in new and ambiguous situations.”
The Center’s flagship program is Winterim, a week-long deep-dive into the nuts and bolts of entrepreneurial problem solving, whether the startup is a social-change venture or a tech product. Thirty students network with 45 professionals who serve as mentors, speakers and judges. Student teams of three collaborate for the pitch competition on the last day. Throughout the week, the students also take life skills workshops such as Personal Financial Literacy, Productivity, Decision-Making, and Sales. This year, the Winterim keynote speaker is Erika Cheung who will discuss ethics in entrepreneurship. Cheung was 23 when she became a key whistleblower in the Theranos case.
“I enjoy meeting the Lewis & Clark students who take entrepreneurship classes and programming,” said Nicole Vollebregt, Head of Global Purpose at Adidas and a member of the Bates Center’s advisory board. “Their critical thinking across subject matters, honed in the liberal arts, along with their enthusiasm and growth mindset well prepares them for a progressive workplace such as adidas that values cultural empathy, creativity, and leadership.”