Farmer School alum expands gift to entrepreneurship to add alumni support

June 2018

Art Collins, MU ’69, retired Chairman and CEO of Medtronic, Inc. has made an additional gift to the entrepreneurship funds he created at the Farmer School in 2010, increasing his total gift to the Farmer School to $300,000. His gift is divided into three areas within the sphere of social entrepreneurship.

The existing funds, the Arthur D. Collins, Jr. Social Entrepreneurship Internship Fund and the Arthur D. Collins, Jr. Social Entrepreneurship Scholarship Fund are now joined by a third fund -- this one, a venture capital fund specifically designated for Farmer School alumni wishing to create social entrepreneurship ventures.

Collins explained, “I have always believed that individuals who have been fortunate in life, and I count myself as very fortunate, have a responsibility to give back. Properly structured, social entrepreneurship provides innovative entrepreneurs the opportunity to build a business while meeting some societal need. The initial two funds were designed to provide students the opportunity to gain experience outside the classroom that would not only enrich their educational experience, but also would help encourage social responsibility early on in their careers.”

Funding alumni ventures represents the out-of-the-box thinking that is a hallmark of successful entrepreneurs such as Art. He noted, “It has been my experience that quite often alumni lose contact with their alma mater. One of the biggest problems in this regard is that many times no meaningful link exists between the university and its former students. However, I’ve also seen that once alumni reconnect, they tend to become much more active, philanthropically and in other ways. My hope is that this new fund will encourage alumni to reconnect with Miami University and the Farmer School while giving back to society in a meaningful way.”

Farmer School dean and Mitchell P. Rales Chair in Business Leadership, Marc Rubin remarked, “Art is a great example of what we hope our graduates will be -- personally and professionally successful while holding themselves to the highest moral and ethical standards. This most recent and creative gift is just one of the many ways he has given back to the Farmer School, and our students and faculty are better because of his connection.”

Art Collins photo