Hood College has established the George B. Delaplaine Jr. School of Business, the Frederick liberal arts college announced Monday.
Delaplaine, a Frederick businessman, contributed a gift to endow the new school and received the President’s Medal for Hope at a ceremony.
“A good business education teaches you how to use company resources wisely, especially in regard to cost-effectiveness and regulation compliance,” he said in a release.
Hood has had a business program for more than 30 years, and the program has recently grown to include a doctorate program. Given the program’s growth, the college was looking at making the department a school.
At the same time, Hood was one of the few liberal arts colleges in the region without a named business school, said Andrea Chapdelaine, Hood’s president.
“We really thought that this might be a nice opportunity and, serendipitously, about the same time George Delaplaine made a generous donation,” she said. “Given his background, I would say it’s a perfect match.”
Delaplaine is the president of Great Southern Enterprises, Inc. and previously served as president and CEO of Great Southern Printing and Manufacturing Company, the parent company of the Frederick News-Post.
He is well-known in Frederick as a business leader and a community leader, a heritage Chapdelaine hopes to continue with a focus on social entrepreneurship in the business school.
The college has already begun creating a social entrepreneurship program.
“(Delaplaine) is a civic leader and gives his success back to the community in so many ways,” she said. “In that regard, we have thought and talked and begun to develop ideas around that model, especially in terms of social entrepreneurship.”
The school has already been established and current business students will graduate from the Delaplaine School of Business, but what else that school looks like is still being decided, Chapdelaine said.
But whatever it looks like, Hood College’s liberal arts background must not be lost because business leaders must also serve our democracy, she said.
“I think that for me, it is really important that all of our business majors be comm majors, accounting majors, all those areas, our MBA students as well as our doctoral students, that they have that very strong foundation in the liberal arts,” she said. “To me, it is absolutely essential if you’re talking about someone who is well-educated in the field of business, it means they have also had a very strong liberal arts education.”
The school is not releasing the size of Delaplaine’s contribution at his request, but it also hopes it inspires follow-on funding. To that end, the college has already received contributions, Chapdelaine said.
The new school has also created a buzz on campus, she said.
“It was almost fun to watch the students shake his hand and rush up to the stage,” she said. “It instills a sense of hope, which is why I honored him with that medal.”
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