Kent State Partners With Kauffman Foundation to Offer Ice House Entrepreneurship Program

Kent State University announces a partnership with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation to provide a unique learning experience focused on igniting entrepreneurship.

Kent State University announces a partnership with the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation to provide a unique learning experience focused on igniting entrepreneurship.

Incoming freshmen will read Who Owns the Ice House? by Clifton Taulbert and Gary Schoeniger as this year’s Common Reading book – an annual assignment to connect new students to the Kent State academic community while providing common ground to stimulate conversation with their peers.  

Students will then have the opportunity to enroll in a three-credit hour course through Kent State’s College of Business Administration with the Ice House Entrepreneurship Program aimed at fostering entrepreneurial thinking.

“This is an exciting initiative to help our incoming freshman develop an entrepreneurial mindset,” said Todd Diacon, Kent State senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. “This program will not only inspire our students to be our future leaders, but it also will prepare them to enter an innovation-driven economy.”

Who Owns the Ice House? is a true story that started in the Mississippi Delta at the height of legal segregation. It was a time when opportunities for African-Americans were limited by cultural and legal constraints that were beyond their control. For most, it was a time and place where opportunities seemed out of reach. Yet, an ordinary man, “Uncle Cleve,” stood out as someone who defied convention and triumphed over adversity as an entrepreneur.

Inspired by the life of Taulbert, a Pulitzer Prize-nominee, the Ice House Entrepreneurship Program was developed through a partnership with the Kauffman Foundation and the Entrepreneurial Learning Initiative (ELI).  

“Entrepreneurship begins with a mindset, and in today’s world, it is a mindset every student needs,” said ELI founder and CEO Gary Schoeniger. “The Ice House Entrepreneurship Program exposes a broad range of students to entrepreneurial thinking while immersing them in real-world entrepreneurial experiences that will enable them to develop critical thinking, communication, collaboration, effective problem solving and other entrepreneurial skills.”

Kent State’s partnership with Kauffman kicks off during a facilitator training program at the WVIZ/PBS studios in Cleveland on May 28.

For more information about Who Owns The Ice House? visit:

About the Entrepreneurial Learning Initiative
The Entrepreneurial Learning Initiative (ELI) is an organization dedicated to providing interactive entrepreneurship education programs for academic, government and non-government organizations worldwide. Their clients include Johns Hopkins University, the Cisco Entrepreneur Institute and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. Learn more at

About The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation
The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a private, nonpartisan foundation that aims to foster economic independence by advancing educational achievement and entrepreneurial success. Founded by late entrepreneur and philanthropist Ewing Marion Kauffman, the foundation is based in Kansas City, Mo., and has approximately $2 billion in assets. For more information, visit


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Media Contacts:
Eric Mansfield,, 330-672-2797
Barbara Pruitt, Kauffman Foundation,, 816-932-1288

POSTED: Tuesday, May 21, 2013 12:00 AM
Updated: Saturday, December 3, 2022 01:02 AM
University Communications and Marketing