Seeds to Sow

From the Fall 2009 edition of Vanderbilt Business

Professor Germain Böer and I have much in common. We both arrived at Owen in the same year, we both have practiced accounting, and we both are serial entrepreneurs. This last item is a shared passion of ours. Whether starting his own business before coming to Owen or launching the Center for Entrepreneurship at the school, Germain has always been a champion for those interested in taking a different career path and pursuing the challenge of being an entrepreneur.

Not only have his efforts created careers for Owen students, their startups have created hundreds of jobs for others. Many Owen students and alumni have benefited from the education and experience Germain has provided for the past 30 years. I continue to benefit from Germain’s expertise, and I hear firsthand from students about the impact he continues to have, especially from the students he refers to me for advice on being an entrepreneur.


For all that Germain has given to Owen, it is time for the Owen community to give something back. I am leading fundraising efforts to endow the Germain Böer Seed Scholarship in Entrepreneurship. The inclusion of the word “seed” in the name is important. Most entrepreneurs receive seed funding to launch their ventures. It is up to them to take that seed funding and create enough value to raise the next round of funding. This scholarship, I hope, will provide the seed funding to launch the career of the next Owen entrepreneur. Please join me in making a contribution.

Our goal is to raise enough funds to generate an annual scholarship grant of $5,000 to an Owen student interested in entrepreneurship. While a $100,000 bequest has already been committed, the scholarship requires a minimum of $100,000 in outright gifts to become active. To date, we have more than $33,000 in outright gifts pledged. Ideally we would like the scholarship fund to grow through continued contributions and earnings so we can increase the scholarship grant or provide more seed scholarships to Owen students.

The giving levels listed below are already in existence through the Owen Circle, but gifts of all sizes are welcome. Your gift can be in many forms, including cash, securities and planned gifts. There are also ways to honor the legacy of your name within the named scholarship for Germain Böer. If you’d like to make a larger named gift, please contact Marshall Turnbull, Director of Alumni Relations, at (615) 322-9997 or

The Owen Circle Levels of Giving
$25,000 + — Cornelius Vanderbilt Level
$10,000–$24,999 — Chancellor’s Council
$5,000–$9,999 — Dean’s List
$1,000–$4,999 — Owen Associates

I hope that you will choose to unite with me so that the legacy of Germain’s impact may continue. Thank you for considering this opportunity.

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