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Albright announces $500,000 gift to N.C. State Entrepreneurship Initiative

RALEIGH, N.C. – A living and learning village for entrepreneurial-minded students at N.C. State University will be named in honor of Andy Albright and his wife, Jane, the university announced Monday during the Entrepreneurs Lecture Series at James B. Hunt Jr. Library on its Centennial Campus.

The Albright Family and Tom Miller

Albright, the co-founder, president and CEO of National Agents Alliance, said the investment of $500,000 over the next five years was important because of the impact it will have on the next wave of entrepreneurs at N.C. State.

“We very well could be helping the next Bill Gates or Steve Jobs get their start by providing an environment for them to create, share ideas and start their career while they are still in school,” Albright said. “The next wave of entrepreneurs in this country will be vital to America because they will be leading the charge when it comes to innovation, technology and, ultimately, job creation for the workforce.”

The Andy and Jane Albright Living Learning Village will open in August of 2014 at Wolf Ridge Apartments in the heart of the university’s Centennial Campus, which is home to more than 60 corporate, government and nonprofit partner organizations.

Kevin Howell, Interim Vice Chancellor for Advancement and Assistant to the Chancellor for External Affairs, made the announcement on behalf of Chancellor Randy Woodson and thanked the Albrights for all their support of the university.

“It’s also significant because the Albrights gift marks the first named village in the history of this university to be funded by a private donation,” Howell said. “Thank you Andy and Jane.”

The gift will help pay for operational expenses at the Albright Village and fund entrepreneur-related programming such as speaker events.

Senior Vice Provost for Academic Outreach and Entrepreneurship Tom Miller said the gift from the Albrights will be transformational for young aspiring entrepreneurs at N.C. State.

“We’ve been focusing a lot on student success at N.C. State and actually the living learning villages where students live together and work together around some theme have been one of our core strategies in student success,” Miller said. “The Entrepreneurs Village is actually going to be the very first one where we’ve had the kind of resources that are enabled by the gift like this. We will have a full-time director, it’ll be a named village, we’ll be able to do programming and things that will literally be transformational for the students. We are expecting the outcome of this to be many, many more Andy Albrights coming out in the future and doing great things by providing jobs and stimulating the economy.”

The goal of the Albright Village is to create a community that allows and encourages students to immerse themselves in entrepreneurial thinking and develop their thoughts and interests through creativity and innovation. It will provide a community for students from across all academic disciplines to live, socialize and work with other like-minded students.

Students living in the Albright Village will have access to the Entrepreneurship Initiative Garage, a business creation and prototyping space with resources such as a 3D printer, interactive whiteboard in meeting rooms, carpentry tools and electronics instruments. The Garage is located in another building now, but will be housed on the first floor of the Albright Village, doubling its current size.

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