Suffolk University today announced the establishment of the Carol Sawyer Parks Chair in Entrepreneurial Studies, endowed through the generosity of real estate developer and Suffolk Trustee Carol Sawyer Parks.
The creation of the endowed chair, now valued at over $1.8 million, will allow for the development of exciting new entrepreneurship initiatives and programs to further the education of students in Suffolk’s Sawyer Business School.
Parks, president and CEO of the Sawyer Enterprises real estate development company, has helped reshape Boston’s architectural, cultural and educational landscape. Among the significant structures she has developed are the W Boston Hotel and Residences and the Niketown building on Newbury Street.
The chair is meant for the director of Suffolk University’s Entrepreneurship Programs, and George Moker, in his capacity as the director of these Sawyer Business School programs, has been appointed the first endowed chairholder of the Carol Sawyer Parks Chair in Entrepreneurial Studies.
Legacy of philanthropy
The Parks family has long supported Suffolk University and its mission. Parks’ father, Frank Sawyer, was a self-made man whose entrepreneurial spirit led to enormous success in the taxicab, rental car and real estate industries. The Sawyer Building and the Sawyer Business School are named in his honor, and the Mildred F. Sawyer Library is named for Parks’ mother.
“The Carol Sawyer Parks Chair is yet another demonstration of the Sawyer family’s support and philanthropy for Suffolk University, of Carol Sawyer Parks’ own passion for entrepreneurship, and of her devotion to our students and their educational experience,” said Suffolk University President Marisa Kelly. “My deepest thanks to Trustee Parks for continuing this lasting legacy and for her commitment to excellence in our Entrepreneurship Programs. And my congratulations to George Moker on becoming the first Carol Sawyer Parks Chair in Entrepreneurial Studies.”
Effective leader of entrepreneurship
Under Moker’s leadership, the Entrepreneurship Programs have gained visibility and quadrupled in size. Capstone students have assisted more than 50 local companies with their startup or small-business growth through the Entrepreneurship Clinic, or e-Clinic. Many students have started thriving businesses and joined an alumni community that includes many successful entrepreneurs.
As director of the program, Moker has expanded Suffolk partnerships with Boston organizations such as the BUILD.org college readiness program, through which low-income high school students gain real entrepreneurship and consulting experience, and the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City, which promotes the rebuilding of inner-city economies. He has contributed to curriculum redesigns at all academic levels, with a focus on creativity, innovation and entrepreneurial learning and practices. And he has led initiatives to create interdisciplinary programming with the Law School and its IP Clinic and with Art & Design.