Bill Crotty, a self-made Ohio businessman, says he attended both the University of Dayton and the school of hard knocks – but only one is receiving a $2.5 million donation.
The university announced this week that its Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership – which houses its nationally ranked entrepreneurship program – is receiving a multimillion-dollar bequest from Crotty, a 1952 alumnus.
The center, which was founded by Crotty 12 years ago and carries his name, helps provide University of Dayton entrepreneurship students with real-world business experience. Sophomores in the university's entrepreneurship program are given $5,000 to start their own companies; all of the students' profits are donated to charities.
Crotty, who is 82, said that sitting in on classes in the entrepreneurship center "gives [him] a great sense of personal satisfaction and energizes [him]."
University president Daniel J. Curran had kind words for Crotty, too. Curran called him "a visionary who dreams big" – an apt title for a man who helped build a tiny Cleveland uniform rental company into a 1,800-employee corporation.
Entrepreneurship was truly Crotty's calling. "Having to get out and hustle made my life much more fulfilling," he says.