SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Le Moyne College has formally opened the Keenan Center for Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Creativity, which is part of the Madden School of Business.
The event represented the “culmination of a year-long construction project that has transformed the building into the Keenan Center,” per the school’s announcement.
The Keenan Center is located in a building on the west side of the Le Moyne campus, that is also home to the school’s bookstore, Joe Della Posta, spokesman for Le Moyne College, tells CNYBJ in an email.
“The primary goal of the center, which is open to Le Moyne students and the community, is to increase the density of entrepreneurial, innovative and creative talent in Central New York,” Jim Joseph, dean of the Madden School of Business, said in an Oct. 13 release. “Today, with the official opening of the Keenan Center, we are taking a moment to celebrate what we have accomplished and recommit ourselves to this goal. I am so grateful for the generosity of Tim and Kathleen Keenan, ‘81, Pete ‘78 and Tara ‘78 DiLaura and others, along with the expertise and hard work of the incredible team that has made this vision a reality.”
Those involved raised a total of $5.4 million for the Keenan Center, including $2 million from Le Moyne College. The funding also included a combination of alumni philanthropy, public grants, and corporate donations.
In 2019, the New York State Regional Economic Development Council (REDC) awarded Le Moyne a grant of $485,000 for the redevelopment, and earlier this year, the DiLauras made a gift in funds and equipment.
“We attended college in two of the hardest hit areas of the country — Central Ohio and Central New York — and believe that increased entrepreneurial activity will return these regions to economic growth, lifting communities out of poverty,” Tim and Kathleen Keenan said. “We found ourselves in the unique position to reshape how higher education can impact entrepreneurship and innovation. Following two decades of building other successful entrepreneurship programs, we are looked upon as thought leaders and our vision for the future is applied through that filter every day.”
The 2,700-square-foot center has been built to standards established by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and is “one of the most unique facilities of its kind found on a college campus in the country,” Le Moyne College contends.
The Keenan Center includes the DiLaura Innovation & Design Lab. The lab is funded by Pete DiLaura, chair of the Le Moyne board of trustees, and his wife, Tara, both of whom are founders of CADimensions, Inc. of DeWitt.
“Our vision for this lab is to provide students and all those who use it with tools and technology to inspire them to impact the world,” the DiLauras said.
Up to 20 students a day will use the DiLaura Lab for classes and learning. The facility allows them to build electronic vehicles, space crafts, laser cutting, milling, HAM radio, drone work, and other high-tech designing, building, and making.
The KCEIC also includes digital media studio/recording studio, virtual/augmented reality station, production/communications center, and equipment for woodworking, Le Moyne said.