NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- Iona College recently announced plans to endow a visionary institute for entrepreneurs and innovative thinking as part its continued efforts to prepare students for new careers in a global economy defined by constant change. The plan comes on the heels of Iona tripling its endowment.
The college also announced a new business school building and the hiring of more than 30 new tenure-track faculty.
The Hynes Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation will establish an interdisciplinary curricular focus for students in any major, create new majors and minors in entrepreneurship, and appoint new endowed faculty fellows, according to a release from Iona College.
The institute, which also creates a community incubator, will ensure students develop the knowledge, skills and experience required to create, innovate and lead in a global economy empowered by exciting technological advances, the release said.
The institute is made possible by the generosity and record $15 million gift to Iona from James and Anne Marie Hynes, who now become the largest lifetime donors to the college. The gift is part of the college’s $150 million Iona Forever campaign to advance student scholarship, accelerate academic innovation and enhance key learning environments.
“Building on a legacy that has long produced leaders who are known for their entrepreneurship and innovation, the Hynes Institute will fortify Iona's future while preparing our students to be the next generation of big thinkers and global leaders,” said Iona College President Dr. Joseph E. Nyre. “At Iona, we understand how important it is to prepare students for careers that were once unimaginable or don’t yet even exist."
Entrepreneurial studies programs help students in moving new ideas from concept to execution, according to the release. This institute will empower students with hands-on, shared learning experiences to support them in identifying, approaching and solving problems in all aspects of life, the release said.
“We wanted to do something for Iona College that would have lasting and far-reaching benefits for all students, present and future,” said James Hynes. “We are underwriting academic innovation and transformation. We believe the entrepreneurial mindset is not only necessary in starting businesses, but it is invaluable in any career or vocation.”
The Hyneses, residents of Greenwich, Conn., are well known in the Iona community for their presence on campus, leadership and philanthropy. James Hynes holds a Bachelor of Arts and an honorary doctorate from Iona College, in addition to an MBA from Adelphi University.
He has been active in the Iona College community since graduating in 1969, and has served on the College’s Board of Trustees since 1995, and as chairman since 2008. In early 2006, the Hynes Athletics Center on the Iona campus was dedicated in recognition of his leadership and philanthropic support.
He earned international acclaim as an entrepreneur, innovator and business leader whose career includes 25 years of entrepreneurial success in the telecommunications industry. He co-founded and was first the CEO of Inteliquent, a leading provider of interconnection services in the United States.
Anne Marie Hynes, a member of the Hynes Institute design team, holds a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics, a master's degree in management science and a law degree from Pace University and is a member of both the New York and Connecticut bars.
Her work has been focused on serving the greater community. Most recently she has functioned as a pro bono attorney with the Pace Women’s Justice Center in White Plains, working with domestic abuse victims. She serves on numerous boards and is the president of the Hynes Foundation.
"Students from any major will benefit from learning and elevating their creativity, their innovation, and leadership skills into an entrepreneurial mindset," she said. "Whether building water filtration systems in Africa, enriching young minds in classrooms around the country, developing public policy or scientific solutions to life's great questions, or founding and leading businesses large and small, we all need to cultivate the essential skills supported by the Hynes Institute.”
The gift comes after a yearlong planning process that included touring leading centers and institutes across the country, the release said. The process transitioned from planning to action with the support of the Hynes family.
Now, Hynes Fellows are being actively recruited; the search for the endowed director of the Hynes Institute is underway, and campus and community locations for the institute have been identified.
Information on endowed director position can be found here.
Here's a link to b-roll video footage of the announcement event for the Hynes Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation.