About the Institute
The purpose of the McNair Institute for Entrepreneurism and Free Enterprise is to
promote scholarly activity and educate students about the role of free enterprise
and entrepreneurship in enhancing economic growth as well as to encourage students
to contribute and participate through entrepreneurism in creating a better America.
The Institute is funded through the generosity of the Robert and Janice McNair Foundation
which also funds centers at multiple other universities across the nation supporting
entrepreneurship and free enterprise education. Robert and Janice McNair are committed
to developing a new generation of entrepreneurial leaders who have both the technical
skills and the philosophical understanding of how free enterprise system forms the
basis of economic opportunity and prosperity for individuals in our country.
Inspiring students to pursue entrepreneurship
The primary activity of the McNair Institute at the University of South Carolina is
to offer a range of courses, experiences, and educational resources to inspire in
students an appreciation of how free enterprise and entrepreneurship serve as a catalyst
for economic growth in the Unites States and the world.
The highlight for lively dialogue with entrepreneurs occurs at the annual Capstone
Conference sponsored by the McNair Institute where students meet with successful entrepreneurs
to hear about their challenges, failures, and successes.
To contact the Institute, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Staff
Dirk Brown, faculty director
Dirk Brown is the faculty director of the University of South Carolina's McNair Institute
for Entrepreneurism and Free Enterprise. Dr. Brown is a seasoned executive with a
strong track record of developing, marketing and licensing disruptive, proprietary
technologies. He has written over 30 technical papers and journal articles, holds
over 25 patents, and is an active member in a number of professional societies.
Brown holds an MBA from San Jose State, a Ph.D. (materials science) and M.Eng. (applied
physics) from Cornell University and a B.Sc. (Eng) in applied physics/electrical engineering
from Queen's University in Canada.
Elizabeth Darden, assistant director, curriculum development
Elizabeth Darden is the assistant director, curriculum development of the University
of South Carolina's McNair Institute for Entrepreneurism and Free Enterprise. Darden
is a USC alumna, having graduated in 2014 from the Moore School of Business.
Darden recently returned from serving in the Peace Corps in Peru, and has a strong
background in project management and marketing communications.