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$1M Gift Launches First Family Business Program in Higher Education in Colorado Region

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Sarah Satterwhite

Senior Editor, Strategic Content and Storytelling

Announcement  •
Daniels College of Business

The Bailey Program for Family Enterprise will activate a new era of teaching and research in the field of family business at the University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business this fall.

The Paul T. Bailey estate established the program through a gift of $1 million to the University. The Bailey family, many of whom are alumni of Daniels and members of a successful multigenerational business, share a passion for education and a commitment to developing the next generation of leaders. Their commitment will create a vital new resource for family-owned enterprises in Colorado as it builds students’ knowledge, leverages cross-disciplinary expertise and strengthens the public understanding of matters crucial to family business.

The Bailey Program will serve as a platform for both significant student impact and important new research. Its academic programs will be available to all DU students, and the program will increase Daniels students’ in-depth study opportunities through a minor in Family Business Strategy for undergraduates, a certificate program for graduate students and non-degree courses for individuals currently engaged in family enterprises.  In addition, in keeping with Daniels’ significant history of welcoming high school students into courses and competitions, the program will connect with high school students to enhance their understanding of free enterprises and family-owned enterprises.

Research at the program will position DU as a thought leader in the field, informing students, professionals and policy makers both locally and nationally.  Ultimately, we anticipate a national network of scholars will contribute to research at the program and profoundly enhance the knowledge base in this crucial field.

The first comprehensive family business program in the Colorado region, the program will build on the excellence and innovation of Daniels’ top-ranked programs, bringing greater focus to the challenges and opportunities of the field of family-operated enterprise ranging from inter-generational wealth management and governance to succession planning and long-term value creation. At least 50 percent of companies in the US are classified as family owned, and it is an especially competitive economic landscape for these entities.  The Bailey program will be uniquely positioned to develop the technical and leadership capacities of the owners and operators of these critical enterprises.   

“The Bailey Program for Family Enterprise is the latest initiative at Daniels that reflects our commitment to engaging students at the intersection of academic rigor and market relevance,” said Brent Chrite, dean of Daniels College of Business. “It is also another step in the College’s evolution of delivering powerful, co-created experiences for our students in preparation of the demands and opportunities of a 21st century marketplace.  I am particularly excited in that the Program will serve as catalyst in support of one of the most important economic drivers in the region and the nation – family owned and operated businesses.   This cross-disciplinary effort will establish a new standard for education, outreach and scholarship in this critical space.”             

The program’s work will be intentionally cross-disciplinary – as is the marketplace in which these enterprises compete. Through collaboration with Project X-ITE, DU’s entrepreneurial platform at the intersection of business, law and engineering, the program will contribute to a vital resource for a wide variety of family-owned enterprises. Additionally, it will be supported by faculty from across Daniels’ disciplines, including the Franklin L. Burns School of Real Estate and Construction Management and the Fritz Knoebel School of Hospitality Management, where family enterprises play a significant role.

The creation of the Bailey Program for Family Enterprise will result in a new standard for research, outreach, engagement and education across the Rocky Mountain West.