October 1, 2015 4:10 PM

Sharon T. Alpi, founder of Millikin University's Center for Entrepreneurship, has been devoted to teaching, mentoring and advising students in entrepreneurship as a 25 year member of the Tabor School of Business faculty.

Alpi was the driver for the initiative to develop a concentration in entrepreneurship in the late 90s that served as the framework for the creation of a major and minor in entrepreneurship. In 2003, she collaborated with two other faculty members in the creation of an Arts and Entrepreneurship multidisciplinary program which is based on a unique pedagogy of "learning through practice" in student–run ventures.

Alpi, who turned over her Center for Entrepreneurship to protégé Julienne Shields upon her retirement June 30, is staying on at Tabor as a consultant for at least one year.

"Sharon has developed entrepreneurship champions throughout Millikin's campus – from the arts to sciences and technology," said Shields. "I look forward to continuing to extend the mission of the Center for Entrepreneurship by engaging youth, students, faculty and businesses in creating opportunities and value in the community."

For 25 years Alpi has played a key role in developing innovative pedagogy and programs to prepare Millikin's undergraduates for professional careers utilizing an entrepreneurship framework. The Center expanded its reach and scope to include an academic major and minor, two student incubators, a student seed fund, business plan competition, International Summer Program, Youth Entrepreneurship initiative and an Entrepreneurship Faculty Fellows Program that is represented by faculty from eight disciplines outside of the business school.

In addition to mentoring students and members of the community in successful entrepreneurial endeavors, Alpi received the Women in Business Advocate of the Year award at the annual Governor's Small Business Summit in 2001 and the Teaching Excellence and Campus Leadership Award in 2003.

An endowed scholarship has been established with gifts from friends, family, and colleagues of Alpi to celebrate her retirement from Millikin University and to honor her 25 years of passionate teaching, service to students and commitment to entrepreneurship and business.

Click here to read more about Sharon Alpi's impact at Millikin University in an article from the Herald & Review.