The center's namesakes are longstanding and highly respected members of the Houston community who have made countless contributions to benefit the University of Houston and Bauer College. Wolff is a member of the newly formed Dean's Executive Board at the college and has frequently volunteered to speak to students about his evolution as an entrepreneur.
Wolff received his bachelor of business administration degree from Bauer College in 1953. He is now chairman and CEO of Star Furniture, a Berkshire Hathaway company, and a member of the newly formed Dean's Executive Board at Bauer College. Wolff also serves as chairman and president of the University of Houston College of Business Foundation. In 1998, Wolff was honored with the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Bauer College, and in 2002, he was named a Distinguished Alumni of the University of Houston. He also recently served on the Presidential Search Advisory Committee to select Dr. Renu Khator as the new UH president and UH System chancellor.
"Cyvia and Melvyn Wolff are two of Houston's most generous civic leaders and important members of the Bauer College family," Dean Arthur D. Warga said. "They believe in our vision of teaching our students to build businesses that suit their own interests, talents and goals. They are committed to ensuring our entrepreneurship program's growth and success."
The Wolffs will attend a special event on Jan. 15 to announce the naming, alongside Khator, who will spend part of her first day on the job celebrating with Bauer administrators, faculty, students and alumni at Melcher Hall, the college's home.
"It is immensely gratifying to see the passion and commitment the Wolffs have for the University of Houston, and their willingness to take a leadership role in raising this university to even greater heights," said President Khator.
In October, Entrepreneur magazine and The Princeton Review ranked the program No. 2 among 370 of the nation's undergraduate business schools. The support from the Wolffs will allow the program to maintain the momentum from that recognition, Warga said.
"We were thrilled that the country's premier ranking survey for colleges and the top business title in the U.S. took notice of our program," he noted. "Now, we're even more honored that two of the city's most respected citizens have extended their support as well. Their commitment ensures that our entrepreneurship program, which began more than a decade ago, will continue to be vital to the economy of Houston, a place where entrepreneurs thrive."
"Melvyn embodies the spirit of entrepreneurship in every way. His national furniture retail business was so successful that Warren Buffet purchased the company and added it to Berkshire Hathaway's portfolio," Warga added.
Bauer's entrepreneurship program began in 1993 when its founder William Sherrill taught a single course in the subject. The program now offers undergraduate candidates the theoretical and practical background needed to create and manage their own entrepreneurial ventures as they earn a major in Entrepreneurship.
The program also offers a popular certificate program in Intrapreneurship/Corporate Entrepreneurship to provide a solid grounding for students who plan to take an entrepreneurial role in existing corporations or those who choose another primary field of study.
The Wolff Center program draws heavily upon the knowledge of its faculty. Most are experienced entrepreneurs who ably assist students in seizing the information, skills and opportunities needed to build a business, or to innovate from within. In 1994, program founder Sherrill was named Ernst & Young National Entrepreneur of the Year (educator) in recognition of the excellence of the school's model, which teams students with mentors for the duration of their education and emphasizes community service.
About the University of Houston
The University of Houston, Texas' premier metropolitan research and teaching institution is home to more than 40 research centers and institutes and sponsors more than 300 partnerships with corporate, civic and governmental entities. UH, the most diverse research university in the country, stands at the forefront of education, research and service with more than 35,000 students.
About the C. T. Bauer College of Business
The C. T. Bauer College of Business has been in operation for more than 60 years at the University of Houston main campus. Through its five academic departments, the college offers a full-range of undergraduate, masters and doctoral degrees in business. The Bauer College is fully accredited by the AACSB International - the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. In August 2000, Houston business leader and philanthropist Charles T. (Ted) Bauer endowed the College of Business with a $40 million gift. In recognition of his generosity, the college was renamed the C. T. Bauer College of Business.