BRIDGEPORT, Conn. — The University of Bridgeport will have a new Innovation Center, thanks to a $2.3 million donation from Wilton philanthropists Carol and George Bauer.
The funds will help the college begin renovations on Bauer Hall, transforming what was once the former estate of industrialist William Grippin at 82 Marina Park Circle.
“I strongly believe that those who are fortunate have a responsibility to properly use that good fortune,” George Bauer said in the university’s announcement of the gift. “My wife and I consider ourselves stewards—we are responsible for contributing to the common good, and the way we see it, universities like UB represent the common good and all the ways that we can invest in the future.”
The new Innovation Center, which is a former UB dorm, will be an academic home for student entrepreneurs and Connecticut-based businesses seeking to expand.
It will include 8,600 square feet of offices, conference space, brainstorming booths, an International Trade Center, a professional service office, maker space and more over four floors.
It will also be home to UB’s existing venture programs, including the Student Entrepreneur Center that has helped launch 11 student-owned companies in two years and the UB Incubator, the first on-campus incubator in Fairfield County.
The Bauers were drawn to UB’s economic and cultural diversity. With students from 81 countries, the university is ranked as one of the most diverse in the United States by U.S. News & World Report.
“We feel humbled to have such a prominent and impactful community figure like Mr. Bauer realize the potential of UB’s students, programs and resources,” said UB President Neil Salonen. “His incredible generosity will allow ideas to come to life, businesses to form and successful futures to be paved.”
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