Photographer: John McKeith

Winona State University has announced that they have reached their $1 million fundraising goal for the College of Business (COB) Engaged Learning Endowment, which provides support and inspiration to students, faculty, alumni and business partners to collaborate and connect the classroom to the business world. With the full dollar amount raised, the endowment will now be able to offer such support in perpetuity.

Experiences offered through the COB Engaged Learning Endowment will give WSU students a competitive edge by supporting unique, real-world learning experiences that foster collaboration, partnerships, business innovation, faculty ingenuity, and alumni engagement and networking.

Whether these experiences be paid internships, group or individual projects, student and faculty immersion, mentoring experiences, or a fluid exchange of ideas and resources, such learning opportunities will provide invaluable insight and better prepare WSU students for the transition from classroom to career. Students will be given the ability to partner with faculty, alumni and external businesses to engage in authentic and practical learning experiences, which in turn will help them build the skills, confidence, and relationships needed to succeed in the business world.

First established in December 2014 from a recommendation from then-Dean of the College of Business Hamid Akbari, the vision for the COB Engaged Learning Endowment is a part of the college’s overall Create Your More culture.

“The COB Engaged Learning Endowment is at the heart of the Create Your More culture,” said WSU Director of Development Debbie Block. “The fund is the first of its kind at WSU, with a goal of providing financial support to help transform the student experience. Our sincere thanks go out to everyone who made a gift to invest in the future of WSU’s College of Business students.”

Winona State’s business partners will also gain benefits from such engagement opportunities. They will be able to utilize the expertise of university faculty and students’ fresh perspectives in working on special projects to generate innovative solutions to their organization’s challenges. Simultaneously, businesses will be able to play an active role in shaping the leaders of tomorrow and also have access to recruiting top talent.

The endowment fund will be administered by the WSU Foundation in cooperation with the Winona State University College of Business Dean for the purpose of supporting the strategic goals of the COB and faculty’s contributions toward them. Additional contributions to the COB engaged learning endowment can be made anytime by any person, organization or group.