Major gift to fund chair in entrepreneurship



HAMDEN — The vice chairman of Quinnipiac University’s Board of Trustees has donated $1 million to advance the School of Business’ innovations in entrepreneurship.

Quinnipiac announced May 29 that it had established the Carlton Highsmith Chair in Entrepreneurship. The Hamden school will match Highsmith’s gift, creating a $2 million fund in perpetuity.

“The Carlton Highsmith Chair in Entrepreneurship will provide the School of Business with sustainable leadership and ensure the long-term success of our entrepreneurship program,” said Matthew O’Connor, dean of QU’s School of Business. “This is a remarkable gift for the School of Business that instantly raises our program to a new level.”

Highsmith is the retired vice chairman of PaperWorks Industries of Philadelphia. Highsmith was the founder, president and chief executive officer of the Specialized Packaging Group Inc., which merged into PaperWorks in 2009. PaperWorks is the third-largest integrated recycled paperboard company in North America.

In 2005 Highsmith was named Business New Haven’s Businessperson of the Year.

Quinnipiac also announced that it will partner with the Connecticut Center for Arts & Technology (ConnCAT), to establish the ConnCAT Entrepreneurial Academy, where inner-city youths may learn how to launch their own businesses.

“Helping to spread the word about free enterprise to young, aspiring students at ConnCAT will help an entire generation of inner-city youth gain an appreciation for entrepreneurship,” Highsmith said. “Students will learn what it takes to build a business — from that first great idea to the birth of a successful company — from business leaders in the greater New Haven area and Quinnipiac faculty. Quinnipiac students will serve as mentors, sharing their knowledge of finance, management, marketing and advertising while also serving as role models that are essential to youth at ConnCAT.”