Jerry Gustafson, the Coleman Foundation Chair in Entrepreneurship at Beloit College, was recognized for Excellence in Service to Entrepreneurship and the Arts at the 11th annual Self-Employment in the Arts (SEA) Conference on Feb. 26. The Society for Entrepreneurship in the Arts, the sponsoring educational organization (of which he is a board member), aims to “help aspiring artists gain the entrepreneurial knowledge and skills needed to establish and maintain a career as an independent artist.”
Together with the Coleman Foundation, North Central College and Columbia College, Gustafson participated in the founding of SEA in 1999. The organization’s honor cites Gustafson as the founder and longtime director of Beloit’s Center for Entrepreneurship in Liberal Education at Beloit (CELEB); the award also includes an annual scholarship for a student to attend the SEA conference.
A member of the Coleman Council for Entrepreneurship Awareness and the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship, he has also served on the Higher Education Entrepreneurship Advisory Committee to the Kauffman Foundation. A two time Fulbright Scholar in Turkey, the Price/Babson Institute awarded him the Edwin Appel Prize in 1987 for bringing the entrepreneurial spirit to academe.
In a 2002 profile in Beloit College Magazine, the 1963 Beloit graduate explained the benefits of entrepreneurship for students saying, “You discover your strengths when you know your goals and truly commit to them. That's entrepreneurship, and if we can develop that in students, they can use it for the rest of their lives.”