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Contact Us

Donald McNeely Center for Entrepreneurship
College of Saint Benedict
Saint John's University
350 Simons Hall
Collegeville, MN 56321

Margrette Newhouse, Director
[email protected]
320-363-2870

Kelli Gradin, Coordinator
[email protected]
320-363-2065

Center for Entrepreneurship
Student Employee
320-363-2764
[email protected]

Read story:

Entrepreneur Scholars visit with some of America's most innovative business leaders.

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.

Entrepreneur Scholars visit Silicon Valley

Over Spring Break, the 13th cohort of Entrepreneur Scholars traveled to Silicon Valley to experience first-hand one of the biggest start up areas in the world. These students spent five days touring companies, conducting informational interviews, and soaking in the Entrepreneurial Spirit of this amazing region! 

 Junior Alexandra Savre was especially inspired by an informational meeting with Jennifer Roback  CSB ‘97 at a local coffee shop.  Jennifer took what she learned from 20 years in Corporate America to launch her own health and wellness company.    “I learned that becoming an entrepreneur is feasible at any stage of your life. You can learn so much from just networking and going to corporate America but always remember and embrace your entrepreneurial qualities because those will get you far.”    Junior Matthew Miller said his most insightful experience came from an Uber driver.  The driver used to be a big time banker but wanted to spend more time with his family. From this experience Miller realized, “If you know what you want to do, don’t pursue something you don’t want to do. Don’t waste your time being in jobs or positions you don’t enjoy”.

 Throughout the week in Silicon Valley, both students commented on the praise they received when they mentioned they were pursuing a liberal arts education.  Many alumni they spoke to told them how crucial their well-rounded CSBSJU education was to get them to where they are now. The E-13s returned to Minnesota with pride, motivation, and excitement to continue pursuing their venture ideas with the support of all those in the Bennie Johnnie community. 

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3coAIGJ9ea8

Entrepreneurial Leadership Series Luncheons

Next luncheon is May 11, featuring keynote speaker Sandy Pfefferle Forster '82.

Click here to register for this event!

Sandy Pfefferle Forster ’82, owner of little pepper promotions, describes her Northeast Minneapolis business as a “provider of purposeful SWAG”. From client thank you gifts, to employee on boarding kits, trade shows giveaways, to apparel to outfit the entire company and a whole lot more, little pepper works closely with each client to determine the best way to extend their brand and message in a physically tangible way. Basically, if you can put a name and a logo on it, little pepper will find a way to do it—with products carefully chosen to fit the client’s specific needs. She believes that the relationship-building and personal service that little pepper provides helps them do the right thing for each and every client.

 Sandy credits a 2009 summer trip with her son, David (an E-scholar and 2011 Johnnie grad) for her decision to get into the promotional branding business--and 7 + years later, she truly believes that it has been the support of many communities of people, in both personal and professional ways, that have allowed her to grow, expand and continue on.

Suggesting SWAG had not always been on Sandy’s radar. An English major at St. Ben’s, her post-college career started as a writer for several local publications, then morphed into communications and public relations roles at a large insurance company in Woodbury. Eventually she found her life’s passion as a stay at home mom, and when her boys went off to Saint John’s (David, SJU ’11), Max (SJU ’13) and Sam (SJU ’14), well, it was time to find the next passion. And along came little pepper. Sandy is certain that the relationships she had built over the years, along with the various “communities” of friends, families, alums and colleagues she feels so a part of, are what have allowed her to grow her business, and to carry on after a very difficult and challenging 2016.

Are you interested in attending our Entrepreneurial Leadership Series Luncheons? Email Kelli Gradin at [email protected] to be added to our invitation list!

This luncheon is offered for alumni/nae who are entrepreneurs and those who support them. Hosted at the Minneapolis Club in downtown Minneapolis this luncheon series features speakers who are unsung successful alum entrepreneurs. The luncheon is by invitation only. Contact Kelli Gradin at [email protected] or by phone at 320-363-2065 for more information, and to be added to the list.

A celebration of the most influential and successful Entrepreneur alumnae/i of Saint John's University and the College of Saint Benedict

We are now accepting nominations for the 2017 Entrepreneur of the Year Awards. If you would like to nominate someone, email us at [email protected] or [email protected].

SJU Entrepreneur of the Year:

This award recognizes the achievements of a Johnnie who best exemplifies the ideals of entrepreneurship by starting and successfully managing one or more businesses in a way that demonstrates notable entrepreneurial characteristics and achievements while practicing Benedictine values in the workplace and in their lives.

CSB Entrepreneur of the Year:

This award recognizes the achievements of a Bennie who best exemplifies the ideals of entrepreneurship by starting and successfully managing one or more businesses in a way that demonstrates notable entrepreneurial characteristics and achievements while practicing Benedictine values in the workplace and in their lives.

CSB/SJU Social Entrepreneur of the Year:

This award recognizes the achievements and qualities of a Johnnie or Bennie who best exemplifies the ideals of social entrepreneurship by starting and successfully managing one or more ventures that enriches humanity or addresses a social issue in a way that demonstrates notable entrepreneurial characteristics and achievements while practicing Benedictine values in the workplace and in their lives.

2016 Winners:

  • College of Saint Benedict Winner - Darlene Miller '71, Permac Industries
  • Saint John's University Winner - Brian Kueppers '89, Apex Revenue Technologies
  • CSB/SJU Social Entrepreneur Winner - Brother Paul Richards '78, Saint John's Boys Choir, and the Benedictine Volunteer Corps
  • Read about past winners.

10 for 10 Campaign

As The Donald McNeely Center for Entrepreneurship at CSB/SJU continues to celebrate our 10th anniversary, we are proud to mark a decade of impressive success and launch our 10 for 10 fundraising drive to fully endow the Center. If you are interested in more information about the Center and/or our fundraising efforts, please contact Center Director, Margrette Newhouse, at [email protected].

Donate online:

Bennies Donate Here! Johnnies Donate Here!

Learn more about our Center and the 10 for 10 campaign:

Current Events

Entrepreneurial Leadership Series Luncheons

Next luncheon is May 11, featuring keynote speaker Sandy Pfefferle Forster.

Are you interested in attending our Entrepreneurial Leadership Series Luncheons? Email Kelli Gradin at [email protected] to be added to our invitation list!

This luncheon is offered for alumni/nae who are entrepreneurs and those who support them. Hosted at the Minneapolis Club in downtown Minneapolis this luncheon series features speakers who are unsung successful alum entrepreneurs. The luncheon is by invitation only. Contact Kelli Gradin at [email protected] or by phone at 320-363-2065 for more information, and to be added to the list.

Donald McNeely Center welcomes 12 new students into the 2017-2019 Entrepreneur Scholars Program

Below are the Entrepreneur Scholars selected for the 2017-2019 school years. These 12 students were selected in a competitive process for the Entrepreneurial Studies Program. Welcome E-14's!

  • Bridget Erickson, CSB              Global Business Leadership
  • Lucas Harmon, SJU                 Accounting and Finance
  • Hayden Lacy, SJU                   Global Business Leadership
  • Bardia Bijani Aval, SJU            Biology and Physics
  • Anahi Ortiz-Acosta, CSB          Global Business Leadership
  • Muqkadeen Poole, SJU            Peace Studies
  • Gary Harala, SJU                    Economics
  • Joe Caughey, SJU                   Global Business Leadership
  • Jacob Kirsch, SJU                   Mathematics
  • Samantha Halseth, CSB          Art
  • Will Gillach, SJU                     Integrated Health Science
  • David Johnson, SJU                Communications

Contact Us

Donald McNeely Center for Entrepreneurship
College of Saint Benedict
Saint John's University
350 Simons Hall
Collegeville, MN 56321

Margrette Newhouse, Director
[email protected]
320-363-2870

Kelli Gradin, Coordinator
[email protected]
320-363-2065

Center for Entrepreneurship
Student Employee
320-363-2764
[email protected]

Read story:

Entrepreneur Scholars visit with some of America's most innovative business leaders.