February 10, 2023

Bates Center Spring 2023 Updates

Semester updates from the Bates Center for Entrepreneurship and Leadership

We encourage students to major in what they love, yet graduate with the toolkit and network they need.

What do we call a liberal arts graduate who has a toolkit and a network? Boss.


Our biggest news of 2022 is that the Bates Center endowment grew from just over $2M to just over $5M! The Randall Charitable Trust just donated a game changing gift of $1.5M. This was matched with $1.5M that Lewis & Clark received via a pair of LC students turned entrepreneurs whose EV charging company recently sold.

To say we are excited is an understatement. The income from this new $3M endowment (4.5%) is dedicated to funding a tenured professor. Income from the remaining $2M ($90,000/year) pays for some of our adjuncts and programming. Until the rest of our endowment grows large enough, we use our annual donor funding to pay for a second professor, additional adjuncts for our 21 classes, Winterim, programming, tech skills initiative, summer high school camp, and student support. We are deeply grateful for the sustaining financial support of our Advisory Board.

We are an academic minor and leverage the liberal arts by adding the four pillars of mindset, skill sets, experiential learning and networking.

Our donors tell us giving to the Bates Center feels like giving a scholarship because of the following direct impacts to current students:

The Impact of Donations

  • In addition to being the most popular minor, students registering for Bates Center classes are up 230% in the past three years. Our classes contain double the number of first generation, low income, and international students compared to the undergraduate LC population.
  • Our internship class is underway and we have assembled 36 paid in-person internships from which our 15 students will interview and choose.
  • Skills Training - We have developed a strategic initiative to provide liberal arts students with for-credit technical skills pathway. We offer Excel and Data Visualization. More courses in graphic design, digital marketing, etc. will be added soon.
  • As part of this initiative, we are piloting an in-person Salesforce training program where every student is afforded an interview with Salesforce and/or partner organizations. We will be the first small liberal arts college in the nation to do so.
  • Our Student Managed Investment Fund is up and running.
  • We are excited to welcome our visiting entrepreneurship professor Nelson Pizarro.
  • Our new Entrepreneur in Residence is Mitch Daugherty, the Director of Built Oregon. He joins our Experts in Residence.
  • We just completed a successful Winterim ’23. Winterim bridges the liberal arts and entrepreneurship with a week full of entrepreneurial and life skills that culminates in a pitch competition (booklet/schedule). This wonderful short video about Winterim ’22 was made by student Cameron Stewart ’23. 
  • We bring ten leaders/year to campus for a free lunch with students where they talk about the B side of their resume as well as trends and opportunities going forward.
  • Our partnership with the Babson Collaborative has yielded 10 Lewis & Clark students being accepted to Babson College’s masters in entrepreneurship in the last two years. Each acceptance has a $10,000 scholarship attached, and many of our students have received additional monies. A ’22 alumnus is attending Babson now on a full ride.
  • Thanks to a generous initial grant from the Randall Charitable Trust, we put on our first high school entrepreneurship camp with a focus on the Circular Economy. In an anonymous poll, 100% of the students said they would recommend the camp to a friend. This camp is returning this summer – in person! Importantly, high school students who apply to LC after the camp and are admitted receive a $20,000/year merit scholarship. Pass this on to every high schooler you know! Please tell us if you wish to help sponsor this camp.
  • Speaking of circular, one cannot get much more circular than this recent alumnus’ venture named wasted* which just garnered over $7.5M of investment. He spent many nights in the eLab, while earning the ire of Campus Safety. Disruption sometimes means a little bit of rule breaking, eh?! Bloomberg article - 2nd article - 3rd article.
  • We love when an Anthropology/Sociology major pursues a tasty idea and combines it with business mentorship by a Bates Center connection to a food startup and agriculture expert. Goddess Mousse is in area grocery stores and available for online orders (Lewis & Clark article).
  • Inspired by the peace of our campus koi pond, this student’s A DayDreamer’s Watches received national attention (Lewis & Clark article).

Liberal Arts and the Future of Work

When we peel away what will be left as tech and AI exponentially expand, three skills central to liberal arts remain:

  • The ability to think deeply and analyze amid uncertainty,
  • The ability to collaborate and manage, and
  • The ability to tell a story.

We are committed to helping students bridge the gap between their valuable liberal arts and work, venture and adventure (NYT 2/3/23 article).

People talk about the ROI of higher education. We believe in the ROI as well. But we also believe in ROCI–Return on Citizenry Investment. Liberal arts helps us empathize and see ourselves in context with the world. Money is freedom and choices. The Bates Center helps students be advocates for themselves and others as they pursue ROI and ROCI.

Call to Action

If you like how we are differentiating Lewis & Clark to demonstrate the value of liberal arts to the future of work, we would love you to consider:

  1. Forwarding this information to classmates and colleagues, and/or
  2. Telling every high school student you know about the Circular Innovation Challenge high school summer camp and the $20k/year merit scholarship for students who apply after the camp and are admitted. Feel free to link to this page on LinkedIn, FB and any social media and say something like “Proud of Lewis and Clark for…” (please tag the Bates Center, Chrys Hutchings and/or Catarina Hunter so we see it), and/or
  3. Donating. Since we are independently funded, we pay the entire cost for our professors (for 21 classes) and programming. All donations directed to the Bates Center are to Lewis & Clark and count towards the capital campaign. We appreciate donations in any amount. If you wish to join the Advisory Board, please contact Chryshutchings@lclark.edu. If you have any comments or input, please email entrepreneurship@lclark.edu 

Liberal Arts…at the speed of business.

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