College of Business launches new Entrepreneurship and Family Business Scholarship

Sept. 30, 2021 | College of Business | Waldron Center |

The Waldron Center for Entrepreneurship and Family Business announced the first recipient of the Bennett and Margie Wood Entrepreneurship and Family Business Scholarship, Sam Chester. 

Jon Wood, director of the Waldron Center and assistant professor in the Paul R. Carter College of Business Administration, is proud to announce that a new scholarship, endowed by his own family, will be offered to promising students interested in entrepreneurship. The Bennett and Margie Wood Entrepreneurship and Family Business Scholarship provides $2,000 in financial support to enable students to focus on academics. 

The Waldron Center, funded by David and Betsy Waldron, was created to equip students with knowledge and skills to become entrepreneurs, whether that meant creating their own business or joining their family business. Their mission is to provide a community of innovation that motivates students to bless others, and Wood, as the center’s director, wishes to continue this mission through his family-funded scholarship.

“What I wanted to do with the family scholarship was invest in this program, the entrepreneurship and family business, that David started,” Wood said.

Senior Sam Chester was hand-picked by Wood as the first recipient of the scholarship. In his classes, Wood noticed Chester’s outstanding abilities and instincts as well as his drive to serve others. Chester was honored by the recognition and is eager to employ his skills in business.

“The scholarship helps take away some of the burden of paying for education to let me focus on the great curriculum of the entrepreneurship program so that I can go out into the real world and be my best self in all areas of business,” Chester said.

Upon graduation in May 2021, Chester will return home to Memphis and join his father’s property management company. The focal point of the business lies in managing lower income apartment complexes and condo associations. 

“My hope is that by going back to Memphis and working with my father’s business, I will be given an outlet to take what I have been given and pour it out into the communities I work in, making them better by providing a nice, livable space for every person in the Memphis area,” Chester said. 

Moving forward, Wood hopes the Waldron Center will continue to promote the mindset of entrepreneurship that extends outside the College of Business to other disciplines on campus and to empower students to bless people in local communities while providing for their families. Chester may be the first student to receive this scholarship, but he is only one of many who make up the body of Christian entrepreneurs.

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