February 25, 2013

Fostering entrepreneurism

By adcomweb

Long-time supporters Artie and Sue Buerk will transform the UW with a major gift 

Arthur “Artie” W. Buerk, Jr.

Arthur “Artie” W. Buerk, Jr.

Artie Buerk, ’58, once took a fledgling storage company from Olympia’s Main Street all the way to New York’s Wall Street. He revolutionized fundraising at the UW, leading it from meager beginnings to a philanthropic force. And now this savvy venture capitalist is using his talent for spotting, then nurturing great ideas to expand entrepreneurship at the Foster School of Business.

Artie and his wife, Sue, ’74, have given $5.2 million to help develop a new generation with entrepreneurial gumption. To recognize the transformative support, the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship will be renamed the Arthur W. Buerk Center for Entrepreneurship. Artie’s hope is to give all 45,000 UW students an opportunity to discover their entrepreneurial DNA.

“Entrepreneurs don’t just come from a business background – they come from every discipline,” says Artie, whose support of the Foster School spans two decades. “My goal is to rally students to do something innovative with the knowledge and passion they have. Success in my lifetime means entrepreneurism is synonymous with the culture of the UW.”

The new Buerk Center will continue programs like the Business Plan Competition and the Environmental Innovation Challenge, while expanding entrepreneurism’s reach on campus and in the community.

“Alumni from the Foster School have founded thousands of companies in Washington and around the world,” says Foster School Dean Jim Jiambalvo. “I think the potential Artie saw for creating even more companies and jobs was a catalyst for his investment. The Buerks’ support will undoubtedly have a multiplier effect on the important contributions our graduates make throughout the Northwest.”

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