$2 million gift will create incubator for entrepreneurship at Providence College


PROVIDENCE — A $2 million gift from the family of Donald R. Ryan ’69 will create an incubator space for entrepreneurship at Providence College — a place where students from all academic disciplines can create and test ideas for new products, services, and organizations.
The Donald Ryan Incubator for Entrepreneurship in the Arts and Sciences, expected to be located in a prominent place on campus, will be equipped with the latest technology, digital displays, writable surfaces, zones for individual work, a presentation area, and collaborative team space.
The incubator space will be closely tied to the College’s business and innovation academic minor, which allows non-business majors to develop their skills in global engagement, applied science, and design thinking while learning the fundamentals of business and entrepreneurship.
“Donald Ryan’s rich life story exemplifies many of the characteristics we wish to nurture in our students,” said Dr. Sean F. Reid, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. “It is fitting that this generous gift will provide opportunities for students and faculty to innovate in a space that will bear his name and will assure his enduring legacy at the College.
“The STEM/STEAM movement is active even in elementary schools today,” said Dr. Helen Ryan, Mr. Ryan’s widow. “If youngsters are learning from an early age to be innovative and creative, to be hands-on doers and thinkers, that needs to carry to the college level. Our hope is that this gift will expand what has already begun at Providence College and give even more students the opportunity, through a formal program, to develop an idea and put it into action.”
Ryan, a political science major at PC, was chairman and CEO of CareCore National LLC in Bluffton, S.C., a company he co-founded to provide benefit management services to health care providers. In 2011, when he died at only 64 years old, it had more than 1,000 employees and contracts with 25 health plans representing more than 50 million insured patients. Prior to its founding, Mr. Ryan ran his own company in Maryland. Helen and their children, Keri and Kevin, initially endowed a $500,000 scholarship at PC in Mr. Ryan’s memory.