$1M gift to L.I.F.E. launches Williamson Family Faith and Entrepreneurship Support Fund

Dan and Saroya Williamson

Dan (M.U. ’78) and Saroya Williamson have created a $1,000,000 endowment to support the entrepreneurship department’s groundbreaking L.I.F.E (Leading the Integration of Faith and Entrepreneurship) program. Building on their previous gifts, this funding will make L.I.F.E. sustainable for future generations of students and faculty.

The purpose of L.I.F.E. is to develop research, teaching and practice focused at the integration of faith and entrepreneurship across religious and faith traditions. While a few institutions have focused on faith and work, such as Princeton University’s Faith & Work initiative, L.I.F.E.’s focus on entrepreneurship is innovative and intentional. It aligns with the rapidly growing industry trend of integrating faith and entrepreneurship around the world and complements this trend with academically rigorous, practically relevant knowledge creation. 

As part of the John W. Altman Institute for Entrepreneurship in the Farmer School of Business, L.I.F.E. is one of the first academic programs in the world to integrate faith and entrepreneurship. To date, L.I.F.E. has developed a pioneering international research conference, several academic studies, a budding student organization, and an initial academic course.   

The goal of L.I.F.E. is to increase knowledge at the intersection of faith and entrepreneurship and explore how students, entrepreneurs and investors may bring their whole selves into entrepreneurial ventures. L.I.F.E. attempts to give students the opportunity to learn about the intersection of faith and entrepreneurship and examine how they might use this knowledge after graduation. 

Dan Williamson noted, “We’re so excited to be a part of Miami’s L.I.F.E. program and to see what we can do – not just at Miami, but around the world because of L.I.F.E.’s impact.”

L.I.F.E. founder and Research Director Brett Smith remarked, "Thanks to the generosity of Dan and Saroya, we will be able to accelerate the growth of the L.I.F.E. program to an increasing number of students and faculty at Miami and around the world, as we pursue the vision of creating world-class knowledge and student experiences at the intersection of faith and entrepreneurship."

Farmer School Dean Jenny Darroch added, "The vision and support of the Williamson’s will build a firm foundation for L.I.F.E. by ensuring the necessary resources to impact students interested in faith and entrepreneurship through courses, co-curriculars and internships. It will also allow us to continue to build world-class knowledge for entrepreneurs through our research projects and the L.I.F.E. Academic Research Conference." 

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