Ehrenberg gift funds new position

A new, significant gift from Roger and Carin Ehrenberg will make it possible for the University of Michigan School of Information to greatly expand its support of students interested in turning their research into new companies. The support will create a position in the school’s new Bachelor of Science in Information program. The Roger and Carin Ehrenberg Director of Entrepreneurship will be funded over its first three years by a generous donation from the Ehrenbergs.

“Carin and I have a deep passion for helping students pursue their dreams of making the world a better place,” Roger Ehrenberg said. “This gift is designed to help more students, at a younger age, acquire the tools and experiences to solve important problems by leveraging the world's rich data.”

“The position is designed to make entrepreneurship a signature element of the curriculum of our new undergraduate degree,” Dean Jeffrey MacKie-Mason said. “Roger and Carin are changing the lives of our students. They will help ensure the curriculum, student experiences, and the connections they make here will prepare them to create new solutions for modern problems. We are grateful for the Ehrenbergs’ generosity and partnership, which will help us build this program as it evolves into a permanent part of the UMSI culture.”

The Bachelor of Science in Information will combine social and technical sciences with a core liberal arts curriculum, exploring major issues at the intersection of people, information and technology. The program will be open to juniors and seniors, with the first class enrolling in 2014.

“The Roger and Carin Ehrenberg Director of Entrepreneurship will help to develop the strength of the program’s support for student startups both inside and outside the classroom, coordinating courses with other departments and schools at the university and expanding school participation in activities such as national competitions, networking events, and client engagement,” MacKie-Mason said.

“I see the impact these professionals make every day through my venture investing activities, and frequently observe the gap between world-class information analysis skills and entrepreneurship,” Roger Ehrenberg said. “By supporting the creation of a Director of Entrepreneurship within UMSI, there will be a person whose sole focus is to help young students unleash their creativity in line with their analytical skills, not only solving hard problems but developing their own solutions through new businesses.”

Roger Ehrenberg is the founder and managing partner of IA Ventures and a member of the school’s External Advisory Board. He and his wife have a long history of involvement with the university, both at the School of Information and with the College of Literature, Science and the Arts.  “Given that Carin and I met at Michigan and have such deep and warm feelings for the University, we couldn't imagine a better place to lend our support,” Ehrenberg said.

 Posted on Friday, April 19, 2013