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Alumni gift establishes new curriculum innovation fund for entrepreneurship at Columbia College

Wednesday, April 27, 2016
Stephen S. Trevor CC’86 and Ronnie D. Planalp BUS’86 have given a $2.5 million gift to Columbia, which includes $2 million to establish the Planalp Trevor Dean’s Curriculum Innovation Fund for Entrepreneurship at Columbia College. The Fund will provide permanent support for the faculty teaching and the students enrolled in entrepreneurship courses. It will also support, accelerate and motivate the Columbia community’s programs and culture around innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship at Columbia College. 

“We are excited to announce the Planalp Trevor Dean’s Curriculum Innovation Fund for Entrepreneurship at Columbia College,” said James J. Valentini, dean of Columbia College and vice president for Undergraduate Education. “Enthusiasm for entrepreneurship is very high among students, and we are offering our first entrepreneurship course this year. This fund will provide permanent support for entrepreneurship at the College, so that we can continue to support our students in developing their ideas into successful enterprises and help them build their own futures using creative thinking and analytical skills.”

“My time at Columbia College was nothing short of transformative,” said Trevor, a senior managing director at Avenue Capital Group, member of the College's Board of Visitors and co-chair of the Board of Visitor's sub-committee on Entrepreneurship. “I am honored to support students’ innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurial energy by giving back to an institution that has been so instrumental to my personal and professional development.”  

Trevor’s commitment to the College, which is part of the Core to Commencement campaign, also includes gifts to the Dean's Innovation Fund for Entrepreneurship and to the Planalp Trevor Family Scholarship Fund, which supports financial aid. Trevor and Planalp also made commitments to support the Columbia College Fund, the Fencing team and the Business School's Tamer Center for Social Enterprise.

Trevor’s success in the sport of fencing has inspired additional gifts to the University. While at Columbia, he was a three-time NCAA Fencing All-American. He also competed on the 1984 and 1988 U.S. Olympic fencing teams. His commitment to establish the Stephen S. Trevor Fund for Elite Travel and Competition will build on Columbia’s legacy of excellence in fencing by helping its current and future teams compete at US and international events. He has been a member of the Board of Visitors since 2011.