Donald McNeely Center for Entrepreneurship

The Donald McNeely Center for Entrepreneurship is an entrepreneurship education resource that provides classes, coaching and assistance to entrepreneurs. It builds relationships among and between CSB/SJU students, faculty, alumnae/i, and community members to create and strengthen the entrepreneurial spirit.

 Hear what our Entrepreneur Scholar Alums have to say:



The McNeely Center would like to welcome the following students to the 2014-2016 Entrepreneur Scholars Program. Congratulations!

  • Sam Brynestad
  • John Hamre
  • Megan Towle
  • Joe Hegedus
  • Amelia Schmelzer
  • Nick Liemandt
  • Allison Steen
  • Joby Nolan
  • Roman Derevyanko
  • Yue Pheng Lee
  • Brian Schepperle
  • Jerly Alcala
Entrepreneur of the Year Awards

The 2013 Entrepreneur of the Year Awards was a huge success! We had over 200 alumni/alumnae and friends of the Colleges in attendance. Congrats to this years winners Lisa Spoden '83, Mike Wethington '79, and Bill Kling '64!

Stay tuned for inforamtion on the 2014 Entrepreneur of the Year Awards! 

CSB/SJU takes 3rd at National Entrepreneur Scholar Elevator Pitch Competition

The 9th group of Entrepreneur Scholars traveled to Denver this February to compete in the annual National Elevator Pitch Competition. CSB/SJU took the 3rd place win! Emily Reimer took home the 3rd place title and a cash prize of $200, with her idea for on the go beer brewing.  We are very proud of Emily, and our Entrepreneur Scholars! Way to Go E-9's!

Executive in Residence

The Donald McNeely Center for Entrepreneurship will host its second Executive-in-Residence. The goal of the program is to build on the success of our current alumni mentoring program and deepen the opportunity for student connection through more frequent and informal access to seasoned and accomplished leaders dedicated to sharing their experience and expertise. 

Social Entrepreneurs and future nonprofit leaders assisted by the Center

The mission of the Donald McNeely Center includes reaching those with entrepreneurial visions to address social and community issues. The Center provides individual advice and coaching to students and community leaders. Read more about this work.

Donald McNeely, Inspirational Founder, 1914-2009

Donald McNeely, aged 94, passed away March 9th, 2009. He was the inspirational founder of the Donald McNeely Center for Entrepreneurship and a frequent advisor for staff and students. He will be greatly missed.

Current Events

Entrepreneurial Leadership Series Luncheons 

Watch for an email from the Center for Entrepreneurship about upcoming speakers and events!

Note: Starting in November 2013,  The Entrepreneurial Leadership Luncheon series will be by registration only. The cost will be $25 per seat. The luncheon registration will be here on our website.  To make sure you are on our electronic invite list, or questions on registration, please email Kelli Gradin at

The Donald McNeely Center for Entrepreneurship proudly celebrates the Entrepreneur of the Year Awards! 
2013 Winners

College of Saint Benedict Entrepreneur of the Year:
Lisa Spoden '83, Strategic Implementation Solutions.

Saint John's University Entrepreneur of the Year:
Mike Wethington '79, Outsell, LLC

CSB/SJU Social Entrepreneur of the Year:
William Kling '64, Minnesota Public Radio & American Public Media Group 

2012 Winners

College of Saint Benedict Entrepreneur of the Year:
Margaret Murphy, Olson

Saint John's University Entrepreneur of the Year:
Cary Musech, Tonka Bay Equity Partners

CSB/SJU Entrepreneur of the Year:
Joe Cavanaugh, Youth Frontiers

Campus 2 Canvas Sells Painting in St. John's Bookstore

Below is an email from one of the student founders to the McNeely Center:

"Today when I walked into the SJU Bookstore, I noticed that something was missing. It was the first ever C2C painting to sell in the bookstore, of the Stella Maris Chapel. After my immediate joyous fistpump, I snapped a picture of the empty easel display and couldn't help to think about the significance of that moment.

I am writing you today, because you have profoundly influenced and impacted me.  I just want to share this moment with you and share my gratitude for all that you've done.  The venture is blossoming, and I can't wait to see what happens once the season comes into full swing.  I really appreciate all your advice and help throughout the last 10 months, this wouldn't have been possible without you. Thank you so much."

E-Scholar Venture Pays off Loan

Clemens Perk was our first student started-student managed campus venture.  It began with a large loan from St. Bens for equipment and space renovation needed for the coffee shop. Each year a new group of students step into leadership roles and run the venture successfully. As of August 2010 the coffee shop has successfully paid off its original loan. Per the recommendation of the founding students as well as other management teams now Clemens Perk is contributing and will be listed as a Sponsor of the E-Scholars program. Beginning  this fiscal year they will contribute $5000 to become a full annual sponsor.

Remembering Eric Rego, E-Scholar first cohort. Eric graduated from St. John's in 2006 and was part of the first group of Entrepreneurial Scholars. Eric passed away in December 2008 and will be missed by everyone who knew him.