Ball State Institute to Carry 'Papa' John's Name

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Schnatter says "I have always been grateful for the quality education I received at Ball State, and I hope that students and scholars alike will participate in all that the institute will have to offer." Schnatter says "I have always been grateful for the quality education I received at Ball State, and I hope that students and scholars alike will participate in all that the institute will have to offer."

One of Ball State University's most high-profile graduates is partnering with the Charles Koch Foundation to launch an initiative to boost entrepreneurship at the Muncie campus. The founder and chief executive officer of Louisville-based Papa John's International Inc. (Nasdaq: PZZA) says his namesake John H. Schnatter Institute for Entrepreneurship and Free Enterprise will equip the next generation of business leaders with the tools to launch a successful business. The institute will be funded through a $3.25 million grant from Schnatter and the foundation.

In all, the funding will support four professorships, an operations manager and two graduate assistants. It also involves entrepreneurial learning and leadership academies, a new center and research activities connected to the institute and the Department of Economics. Ball State Chief Entrepreneurship Officer Michael Goldsby will lead the institute.

Schnatter, who graduated from Ball State in 1983, says "we're proud to support this effort for the next generation to learn and think critically about free market principles and to equip aspiring entrepreneurs with the know-how to launch successful businesses."

Ball State Acting President Terry King tells Inside INdiana Business says the institute fits in with the goal of becoming "the entrepreneurial university." He adds "I'm really excited about looking for ways we can be innovative as an institution, our faculty can be innovative in the way they deliver their content, no matter what their discipline is and the way we allow our students learning opportunities on campus." The institute will be multi-disciplinary, working with students and faculty throughout the university.

The Whitinger Business Building will house the new institute.

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