NEW YORK (Oct. 5, 2004)—Beta Gamma Sigma, the national honor society in business and management, awarded alumnus Bert W. M. Twaalfhoven the Beta Gamma Sigma Medallion for Entrepreneurship during a luncheon at Fordham University’s Lincoln Center campus. The medallion, the society’s highest honor, is awarded annually to one entrepreneur whose contributions and innovations in business and commitment to service are outstanding.

Twaalfhoven, a 1952 College of Business graduate and highly successful European entrepreneur and venture capitalist, has started more than 50 firms and has acquired more than 10 others, with customers in 60 countries. A Fordham Business advisory board member, Twaalfhoven is also an active lobbyist for entrepreneur-friendly legislation in the European Union and better business education in America and Europe.

“I hope that as a new academic leader in [entrepreneurship], Fordham will stimulate young minds about this new option,” said Twaalfhoven, who was nominated for the award by Sharon P. Smith, Ph.D., dean of the Fordham Schools of Business. “This country was built on [entrepreneurship]. The business world keeps on changing and students need to be prepared.”

The Bert Twaalfhoven Center for Entrepreneurship, established at Fordham in 2003, encourages the development of family businesses and social entrepreneurship, while preparing budding entrepreneurs with the skills to start their own businesses. Its curriculum is based on Twaalfhoven’s “Blocks of Teaching Entrepreneurship,” which emphasizes six principles, including identifying opportunities, acquiring social and financial capital, managing a family-owned enterprise and realizing value.

“Bert is a very important symbol here at Fordham,” said Robert Hurley, Ph.D., the founding director of the center and a professor of marketing. “He is a great example of inspirational development, intellectual excellence and generosity. We hope that we live up to the example that he set for us.”

 Fordham’s Schools of Business, which date back to 1920, provide students with a dynamic combination of liberal arts and business education on the undergraduate level, while preparing students for leadership roles in the changing global environment on the graduate level.