LRU News

Entrepreneurial Expert Hired to Head New Center, Build New Majors

Fri Nov 22 2013

HICKORY, N.C. — Business has long been one of Lenoir-Rhyne University’s most popular majors. The classrooms are full and the graduates are going on to bright futures. Now the university has decided to push its program one step farther.

That’s why Dr. Ralph Griffith was hired to be the Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship at LR’s Charles M. Snipes School of Business. And that’s why he’ll also serve as the business director of the Center for Commercial and Social Entrepreneurship.

Griffith is forming the foundations of the CCSE. His goal is to offer professional consulting to people in the Hickory community who want to get started in business. He wants to extend LR’s reach into the community and build key relationships that will last for decades.

“We can be a place for people to come in and help them find a path to business,” he said. “We hope to create new LR-friendly businesses by helping people get started.”

Griffith’s goal for Lenoir-Rhyne’s students is to build a campus-wide culture of entrepreneurial thought and outlook for all students—not just the ones in the new undergraduate curriculum he’s designing—a new business administration degree with an entrepreneurial focus and a dedicated entrepreneurial degree due to debut in the fall of 2014.

In the meantime, Griffith plans to spread entrepreneurial thought throughout the school’s disciplines. If a biology professor is discussing genetic manipulation as it relates to corn plants, why not bring in a local farmer to discuss the end product and how it will impact his yield and the local economy?

“I want us to give our students the edge—more opportunities than they would have otherwise have had,” he said.

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About Dr. Ralph Griffith:

Age: 32

Hometown: Midland, Mich.

Will move to Hickory in: December

Education: Doctorate of Business Administration in Entrepreneurial and Small Business Operations: Baker College Center for Graduate Studies, Flint, Mich.

Master of Business Administration in Integrated Management: Northwood University, Midland, Mich.

Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Government: Alma College, Alma Mich.

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