For years, Doug and Robin Shore have been making contributions to Kennesaw State University. Now, their names indelibly will be linked to the Michael J. Coles College of Business.
In recognition of a major financial contribution from the Shores, Kennesaw State officially will dedicate the Robin and Doug Shore Entrepreneurship Center at a ceremony on Sept. 24.
“Doug and Robin Shore have a real passion for our students and for the entrepreneurial spirit being instilled in those students,” said Kathy Schwaig, dean of the Coles College of Business. “We are fortunate that these well-known entrepreneurs have taken a significant amount of their resources and invested in the passion and the mission that we have in the Center.”
The Shores’ relationship with the Coles College began in 1999, when then-Dean Tim Mescon asked Doug to serve on its advisory board. The Shores became frequent donors to the College, including an annual scholarship they established eight years ago for deserving students in sales and marketing. The Business Press Educational Foundation (BPEF)/Joseph Shore Scholarship Fund was given as a 90th birthday gift honoring Doug’s father, whose successful business ventures helped inspire his son’s passion for entrepreneurship.
Doug joined the Kennesaw State University Foundation Board of Trustees following the first of the couple’s three visits to KSU’s educational site in Montepulciano, Italy. Those trips also inspired Robin to start a scholarship to assist students participating in summer programs in Montepulciano.
“We don’t have children of our own, and I felt compelled to leave a legacy of some kind,” said Robin, who studied abroad in Germany when she was in college. “I was able to set it up so someone else could do what I did, which was a life-changing experience.”
The Shores are continuing to provide opportunities to students through their donation to Kennesaw State’s entrepreneurship center. The center, which the Coles College began last year, strives to produce innovative students through programs such as Georgia’s first bachelor’s degree in entrepreneurship.
“Thanks to their incredible generosity, we will be able to lead entrepreneurship in the Southeast for students, educators and business owners,” said Chris Hanks, executive director of the Robin and Doug Shore Entrepreneurship Center.
“The more entrepreneurs we can create, hopefully the more jobs we’re going to create,” Doug said. “You hear a lot of talk these days about what kind of jobs graduates can get after college. Entrepreneurs employ themselves – they create their own jobs, they create their own companies. And what’s more, they employ other people.”
Along with helping produce future business leaders through the entrepreneurship center, the Shores hope their contribution helps increase Kennesaw State’s donor base. Their desire is that as students learn to become entrepreneurs, they will appreciate the importance of philanthropy and will give back to their alma mater and community.
“People who create their own businesses, if they got help from a school like KSU, they’re likely to become donors themselves going forward,” Doug said. “To me, it’s like you’re starting a farm and you’re planting these seeds. You’re going to grow entrepreneurs and you’re going to grow donors, and it’s going to multiply itself many times down the road.”
The Shores live in Atlanta, but did not have any direct connection to Kennesaw State prior to Doug’s joining the Coles College Advisory Board. As Doug and Robin have become increasingly involved with the University through the years, they feel part of the KSU family.
“We both feel at home here,” Doug said. “It’s a fun place to be. Every time I come here, there is something new.”
“I get so invigorated every time I come here,” Robin said. “Everyone I meet is friendly and bright and forward-thinking. There is just something really special about Kennesaw State University.”