Sunday, December 11th, 2016

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Ohio Entrepreneur Donates $2.5 Million to Alma Mater

Bill Crotty, an entrepreneur and University of Dayon alum, is donating $2.5 million to his alma mater.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.

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