Boston College to Launch Entrepreneurship Center in Honor of Late Silicon Valley Investor Edmund H. Shea Jr.
Sep 8, 2015
Chestnut Hill, Mass – To support a burgeoning start-up culture on campus, The Carroll School of Management at Boston College will launch the Edmund H. Shea Jr. Center for Entrepreneurship to foster collaborations between students, faculty and private-sector experts that support ideas for new businesses and organizations, John and Linda Powers Family Dean Andy Boynton announced today.
Named in honor of the late California entrepreneur and venture capitalist Edmund H. Shea Jr., the new center will open under the direction of skilled entrepreneur Jere Doyle, who built two start-up companies, Prospectiv and Global Marketing, before founding Doyle Enterprises, a Massachusetts-based firm that supports start-ups throughout the world.
Shea, an MIT alumnus, maintained a lifelong affinity for the Jesuit order that founded Boston College. Three of his granddaughters have connections to BC: Kate Morrissey, who graduated in 2014, her sister, Mary, who is a member of the Class of 2017, and Maureen McConnell who enters the Lynch School of Education this fall as a freshman.
The Shea Center, made possible through a generous financial gift to BC’s Light the World campaign from Shea’s wife, Mary, and their six surviving children, is slated to open this fall. It will host an inaugural symposium on November 5 featuring Phil Schiller ’82, senior vice president of worldwide marketing of Apple Inc.
“My husband was a true entrepreneur who would have warmly embraced his family’s connection to Boston College,” said Mary Shea. “As a family, we believe that the center will be a resource where students can harness the entrepreneurial spirit that he so perfectly captured—and that can readily be found here at Boston College.”
A Jesuit, Catholic institution steeped in the liberal arts tradition, Boston College nevertheless boasts a robust entrepreneurial culture nurtured by faculty, alumni, students and the business community. Companies launched by Boston College students or alumni in the past decade have garnered more than $100 million in venture backing, including Jebbit, WePay, and Drizly.
“The Shea Center means that we will provide opportunities for students to learn more about entrepreneurship in the classroom, to see great entrepreneurs come to campus, and to get involved in internships through start-ups,” said Doyle, the founding executive director and a 1987 graduate of BC’s Carroll School of Management. “That all translates into more opportunities for Boston College students.”
Added Powers Family Dean Andy Boynton, “The Shea Center for Entrepreneurship will raise the profile of the entrepreneurial spirit that exists within our community. The Center will make the Carroll School even better and I look forward to seeing the entrepreneurship ecosystem expand throughout all of Boston College with the Center’s leadership and our students’ energy.”
During a distinguished career in California’s Silicon Valley, Shea backed hundreds of successful start-ups – including Activision, Adobe, Compaq Computers and Peet’s Coffee & Tea – and co-founded Shea Homes, currently one of the nation’s largest privately owned home building companies. Shea passed away in 2010, and shortly thereafter, his family began thinking of ways to honor him in the Jesuit tradition of service to others.
“We hope the center will thrive as a place for young entrepreneurs with Jesuit ideals who will lead businesses skillfully and with a social conscience,” said John Morrissey, executive vice president and director of J.F. Shea Co. Inc., the parent company for Shea Homes and J.F. Shea Construction. “In this way, the center will truly reflect his life’s work.”
While based in the Carroll School of Management, the center will take an interdisciplinary focus, reaching out to students in each of the University’s eight schools and colleges.
“The center will have a positive impact across campus and will benefit the entire student community,” said John Morrissey. “It’s crucial to create an environment where diverse ideas can flourish, a dynamic place for support and mentorship.”
The family said BC’s Jesuit tradition will ensure the center is focused on the University’s mission of educating "men and women for others."
“We’re incredibly proud to partner with Boston College in this endeavor and to invest in BC,” said Colleen Morrissey, daughter of Edmund and Mary Shea. “And for those students who will launch their careers with the help of this center, I believe my father would say, ‘Do it for someone else. Help others on their journey.’ And that speaks volumes about his Jesuit values.”