Anyone who has driven past the Lindenwood University campus over the years cannot have missed the tremendous growth that the university has undergone. A significant part of that growth has occurred in the School of Business and Entrepreneurship, which has become the university’s largest school in terms of student enrollments.
The business school’s footprint has grown not just in terms of our size, but also in the extent of our engagement within the university and throughout the wider community. This engagement is exemplified by the recently created John W. Hammond Institute for Free Enterprise, which was established just over one year ago thanks to a generous $1 million gift from John Hammond, a member of the Lindenwood University board of directors.
The Hammond Institute launched on September 26, 2013, with an event that featured Stephen Moore of the Wall Street Journal and drew an audience of nearly 600 people to Lindenwood’s J. Scheidegger Center for the Arts. Since its launch, the Hammond Institute has hosted a wide variety of nationally and internationally known speakers, including historians Tom Woods, Carey Roberts, and David Beito; economists Christopher Coyne and Robert Higgs; and philosophers Kit Wellman and Donald Livingston.
In addition to academic speakers, the Hammond Institute has hosted a number of business practitioners, including sports entrepreneur Mike Veeck and professional clown and circus director Steve Smith. More recently, the Hammond Institute co-hosted a public forum on state education reforms, which included a discussion panel with Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones and Missouri State Senators Maria Chapelle-Nadal and John Lamping.
Most of the programs undertaken by the Hammond Institute occur under the auspices of one or more of its three focus centers—the Duree Center for Entrepreneurship, the Liberty and Ethics Center, and the Center for Economics and the Environment—each of which has a unique role within the institute. The Duree Center is focused on community outreach, student development, and business creation, often in partnership with non-profits, such as the St. Charles County Economic Development Center, Partners for Progress of Greater St. Charles, and the Greater St Charles County Chamber of Commerce. The Duree Center recently organized a symposium on how entrepreneurs can fund their business venture and has organized specialized symposiums on entrepreneurship in the arts and in sports and entertainment.
The Center for Economics and the Environment, which is recognized as one of the leading centers in Missouri for economics research, provides policy-oriented research on the local business environment and provides public programs concerned with the natural environment. Research projects have included estimates of the effects of state tax credit programs and methods for improving the measurement of the local economy.
The third focus center within the Hammond Institute, the Liberty and Ethics Center, provides a more humanistic approach to free enterprise by addressing the role that free enterprise plays in advancing a society that is simultaneously prosperous and just. The programs of the Liberty and Ethics Center have explored provocative questions, including “Is Government the Problem?” and “Is the U.S. Criminal Legal System a Crime Against Humanity?”
Because the Hammond Institute and its focus centers are meant to foster scholarship and engagement throughout the community, all of their events are open to the public and are usually held on campus at the Dunseth Auditorium in the School of Business and Entrepreneurship.¤
Story by Dr. Howard J. Wall