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Millennial Media founder gives Mount St. Mary’s $1M

Palmieri to create center for entrepreneurship at alma mater

Millennial Media founder Paul Palmieri has donated $1 million to his alma mater, Mount St. Mary’s University, to create a center for entrepreneurship. (The Daily Record/Maximilian Franz).

Millennial Media founder Paul Palmieri has donated $1 million to his alma mater, Mount St. Mary’s University, to create a center for entrepreneurship. (The Daily Record/Maximilian Franz).

Millennial Media founder Paul Palmieri has donated $1 million to his alma mater, Mount St. Mary’s University, to create a center for entrepreneurship.

The center will provide a major and a minor in entrepreneurship and include a combination of in-class and hands-on learning.

“The education there is inspiring people to start and grow businesses,” Palmieri said in an interview. “I’ve done that myself in my career and have been incredibly inspired to give back.”

Palmieri graduated from the Emmitsburg school in 1992. His wife, Diane, graduated from the school in 1983.

The new center should provide young entrepreneurs to help hone their skills through hands-on learning, he said.

“I think in many cases, certain majors you go to class and you also have practice. Think of nursing for instance,” Palmieri said. “The center for entrepreneurship is really about the practice of the craft of entrepreneurship. It’s going to consist of things like workshops, networking, business plan competitions, ideas competitions… all things that can put tools of specific things into the tool bag of someone who wants to be an entrepreneurship.”

Mount Saint Mary's. (File)

Mount Saint Mary’s University. (File)

Officials at the liberal arts school said they want students from across all disciplines to be involved in entrepreneurship.

“We decided in discussions with the donor that we wanted entrepreneurship to be part of everybody’s experience here,” said Dr. Jennie Hunter-Cevera, interim provost at Mount St. Mary’s. “We are including courses and curricula that touch everybody here.”

The school is excited to have a donor with Palmieri’s entrepreneurial experience and hope he will remain involved with the center, she added.

“This was his idea, his baby,” Hunter-Cevera said. “We want him to still be able to watch it grow. …He’s definitely going to sit at the table when we develop this curriculum.”

The school has already renovated an old mechanic shop to house the center, which will include a maker space and an innovation center.

“It’ll be a little funky because I come from Berkley and I wanted funky,” Hunter-Cevera said.

The school is still developing the curriculum for the program and searching for a director to run the center.

Having the center on campus will provide students a place to bring their ideas and skills together and have networking opportunities, Palmieri said.

“For me, I think a lot of entrepreneurship is around networking and supporting people who have ideas,” he said. “I’m an entrepreneur from Baltimore that’s very excited to give back and help others.”

Palmieri founded Millennial, which specializes in placing advertising in mobile apps, in 2006. The company was purchased by AOL in 2015 for $250 million.


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