J. Lawrence Connolly Center for Entrepreneurship

The J. Lawrence Connolly Center for Entrepreneurship, named in recognition of the generosity and support of Leigh and Larry Connolly, aims to deliver a truly innovative entrepreneurship program leveraging both the successful business administration program of the Williams School and the interdisciplinary emphasis of Washington and Lee.  The Connolly Center includes a range of curricular offerings along with cutting-edge co-curricular programs such as the Entrepreneurship Summit, Venture Club, and Business Plan Competition.

There is a natural fit between Washington and Lee University's liberal arts education environment and entrepreneurship. On the one hand, a liberal arts education fosters development of analytical and problem solving skills, while enhancing a student's ability to synthesize knowledge across a wide variety of fields. In addition, liberal arts education fosters creativity, innovation and flexibility.  As a result, W&L students will have the requisite creative minds to recognize entrepreneurial opportunities that students engaged in a more traditional business school environment may overlook.  

On the other hand, the Williams School provides students with the opportunity to learn the concepts, theories, and analytical models for understanding business, economic, and politics.  As a result and when coupled with what they have learned from liberal arts courses, W&L students will possess the knowledge and skills necessary to develop realistically fundable and executable business plans based on applied research.  Thus the natural fit between entrepreneurship and W&L's unique academic environment. W&L is excited about the many new opportunities that this program will provide.  

Our curriculum is designed with the whole campus in mind. The entrepreneurial journey for students from any major begins sophomore or junior year by taking courses described below. These courses are designed to challenge students through applying entrepreneurial approaches to problem solving, recognizing and organizing viable new venture opportunities in the marketplace. Inspired by these courses, students may also engage in a variety of co-curricular activities while assessing opportunities to explore in our capstone BUS340 Entrepreneurship course during their senior year.  Although this course has a limited number of seats available for non-Williams School students, individuals from other majors may participate as part of a team taking the course.