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Burton D. Morgan Lecture inspires young entrepreneurs

Ingrid Schmidt and John Margida

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The Burton D. Morgan Lecture enlightened aspiring entrepreneurs at Ashland University on March 26.

The Director of the Burton D. Morgan Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, Tom Sudow, said that the purpose of the lecture is to inspire and inform young businessmen and women.

“Since the founding of the center, we’ve held a Burton D. Morgan lecture, virtually every year,” Sudow said. “We bring in somebody, an international person, we try as much as possible to bring in to expose our student body and community to an opportunity to learn and grow with someone who can present some new ideas.”

This year’s speaker was actor, author and speaker, Dwier Brown. Brown starred in the hit movie, Field of Dreams with Kevin Costner.

“This year we were able to get an old Ashland College alum, Dwier Brown,” Sudow said. “He’s an actor, but really how he changed, and how he acted, his entire life story is really that of an entrepreneur.”

Brown graduated from Ashland University in 1980 with a bachelors in drama and speech. The title of his speech was, “If You Build It.” He spoke about his journey from growing up in a small town in Ohio to starring in Hollywood films.

“The other thing with Dwier is, he’s a guy that walked on the streets of Ashland, ate in the cafeterias,” Sudow said. “He was one of the students and look at where he got to and I think that’s one of the messages we’re trying to deliver, it can happen for you too.”

The Burton D. Morgan Lecture has been inspiring the Ashland University community for years, just like Morgan did throughout his life. Burton D. Morgan’s friend and colleague, Lucille Ford, remember Morgan as a humble and kind man.

“It’s so rare that the individual with that much ability doesn’t have an ego as big as all outdoors, but not Burt, not Burt. Burt didn’t have that ego,” Ford said.

Burton D. Morgan was known for helping students to succeed in business and entrepreneurship. He established The Burton D. Morgan Foundation in 1967 to support the free enterprise system in America that he so appreciated.

Ford said that Morgan would help people to nurture that entrepreneurial spirit as if he was talking to a friend.

“You could talk to him for hours and think he came from across the street, or in the other room, calm, pervasive, but listening,” Ford said.

The 2019 Burton D. Morgan Lecture, helped to show students that with hard work and determination, they too can live the life of an entrepreneur, according to Sudow.

“Our goal is to expose the students’ number one, and the community number two, to opportunities that they can’t get elsewhere,” Sudow said.

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