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Baruch College's Field Programs in Entrepreneurship Honored as Important Engine of Economic Growth by Manhattan Borough President

Celebration Part of Global Entrepreneurship Week, Nov. 17-23

New York, NY, Nov. 18 -- The Manhattan Borough President’s Office and Baruch College will celebrate the 15th Anniversary of the Lawrence N. Field Programs in Entrepreneurship at a gala reception on Thursday, November 20, 2008. The celebration, which coincides with Global Entrepreneurship Week (Nov. 17 -23), will include the presentation of two proclamations, honoring the achievements of the Field Center and its patron and namesake Lawrence N. Field.

"The Field Programs in Entrepreneurship exemplify Baruch College’s commitment to academic excellence," Baruch College President Kathleen Waldron said. "While including important research and teaching components, they also provide our students with practical experience in small business development and our community with necessary business expertise. We couldn’t do this without Larry Field’s generosity, and I join the Manhattan Borough President in celebrating and recognizing this achievement."

Originally established in 1993, as the Baruch College Small Business Lab, the Center became associated with Baruch alumnus Lawrence N. Field ('52, DCSc (Hon.) '04) in 1998. Field’s vision and generosity made possible the expansion of the Center’s work, including its core mission of providing free counseling and business expertise to clients striving to start or expand independent business ventures. In recognition of Mr. Field’s enormous contribution to entrepreneurship at Baruch College, the Small Business Lab was officially renamed the Lawrence N. Field Center by the Trustees of the City University of New York in 1999.

"In the last decade, the Field Programs in Entrepreneurship have become an increasingly important part of business education at Baruch College," said John Elliott, dean of Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business. "Entrepreneurship has become magnet for some of our best students. Thanks to Larry Field's generosity, we have been able to hire outstanding scholars in the field, to partner with Merrill Lynch in a prominent business plan competition, and to partner with New York State to offer the City an excellent SBDC."

Commenting on his 10-year involvement with entrepreneurial studies at Baruch College, Larry Field said, "Baruch College gave me not just an education but the inspiration to become an entrepreneur and create a successful business. I am grateful that, through the programs of the Field Center, I am now able to help new generations of students discover the excitement and the rewards of creating their own business ventures."

In recent years, the Field Center has become an important engine for business and job creation in the New York region. A detailed inventory of the Center’s activities found that during its lifetime the Center has provided 137,472 hours of counseling to 13,225 individual clients, and been directly responsible for creating or preserving some 4,500 jobs in the metropolitan area.

The Field Center also has important research and teaching components and Baruch’s business students serve as mentors and advisers to the Center's clients. The growing interest in entrepreneurial studies at Baruch College and throughout the nation has also led to the establishment of undergraduate and MBA degree programs in entrepreneurship at Baruch College's Zicklin School of Business. From 2001 through 2008, the Field Center has also sponsored the annual Baruch College and Merrill Lynch Entrepreneurship Competition which has distributed more the $500,000 in prize and seed money.

In 2008 Entrepreneur Magazine ranked Baruch College as the home of one of the nation’s top 25 graduate programs for entrepreneurship. Also in 2008, the Global Consortium for Entrepreneurship Centers presented the Field Center with its Award for Exceptional Contribution to Entrepreneuship Research.

A 2007 gift of $10 million from Lawrence N. Field brings his total contributions to Baruch College to more than $25 million. Mr. Field’s latest gift will make possible the expansion of undergraduate and graduate academic programs in entrepreneurship at Baruch College’s Zicklin School of Business; the hiring of additional faculty; and an increase in the number of Field Fellows serving the business community. As part of the 2007 gift agreement, it was decided that the entire range of entrepreneurial activity at Baruch College will henceforth be known as the Field Programs in Entrepreneurship.

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