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DU Gives First Martha and Seaborn Jacobs Endowed Scholarship Fund Awards

The new Martha and Seaborn Jacobs Endowed Scholarship Fund has provided inaugural scholarships to four students enrolled in Duquesne University’s Entrepreneurial Studies Program (ESP).

These $1,500 scholarships are the first to be generated from a fund created by 1965 Duquesne business school alumnus Terrence Jacobs, who is chief executive officer of Penneco Oil, an independent firm with oil, gas and coal interests throughout western Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Jacobs and his wife, Sandy, named the fund as a tribute to his parents, Martha and Seaborn Jacobs.

The winners, announced by Jacobs and Ronald R. Morris, director of the ESP, are:

  • Michael Cunko, a junior from Pittsburgh
  • Kevin Holesh, a junior from Gibsonia
  • Michael Marcenelle, a junior from Christiansburg, Va.
  • Natalie Mikula, a senior from Weirton, W.Va.

The scholarships, which are renewable and will be given annually, were awarded on a variety of criteria, including outstanding performance in the classroom, ongoing and significant involvement in entrepreneurial ventures beyond the classroom and each student’s writings about his or her desire for an entrepreneurial career.

“Selecting these students was difficult because there are just so many outstanding entrepreneurial individuals in the program,” Morris said. “I particularly enjoyed reading the letters from the students; they gave us great insight into the background and personality make-up of each applicant. Their responses reminded me of something we teach in the classroom every day—that so much of entrepreneurial success is related to attitude and desire.”

That positive attitude is well-illustrated by Jacobs himself, according to Morris. “Terry Jacobs is, in my opinion, a shining example of the entrepreneurial spirit that has made this great country what it is,” Morris continued. “I am hoping that we can convince Mr. Jacobs to speak at our upcoming Entrepreneurs’ Day, so that our students can hear first-hand about the trials and tribulations a typical business owner endures in reaching his or her goals.”

Entrepreneurs’ Day is a special, one-day event organized specifically for entrepreneurial majors who meet with owners of entrepreneurial and startup companies who are looking for young, ambitious graduates.

The ultimate goal of the ESP is to create an endowment sufficient to fund at least two full scholarships. This will require significant funds, but already ESP is seeing its graduates creating and/or buying startup companies. Typically, not long after these small companies are purchased, entrepreneurial owners make generous contributions to their alma maters.

In the words of Morris, “This is only a matter of time.”

For further information on ESP or this fund, contact Morris at morrisr@duq.edu or visit www.duq.edu/entrepreneur.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.