Longtime KSU Supporters Establish Scholarship for Entrepreneurs

KENNESAW, Ga. | Nov 6, 2020

Doug and Robin Shore have developed a close relationship with Kennesaw State through two decades of supporting the University, including funding several scholarships, serving on advisory boards, visiting KSU’s educational site in Italy and attending countless on-campus events. Their latest gift will support a group near and dear to Doug, the next generation of entrepreneurs.

The Shores have committed $50,000 to establish the Doug Shore Endowed Scholarship, to be awarded to KSU Journey Honors College students who are majoring or minoring in entrepreneurship. Their contribution will grow to $125,000 through the 150 percent endowment matching program established earlier this year by the Kennesaw State University Foundation and the Shores’ close friends, John and Rosemary Brown.

Robin and Doug Shore have established the Doug Shore Endowed Scholarship for Honors Students in Kennesaw State University's Entrepreneurship program

“It’s nice to see that the connections you make create other connections, and that grows and branches off to more people getting involved and contributing to KSU,” said Doug, a KSU Foundation trustee. “Leveraging our gift with John and Rosemary Brown’s tremendous matching gift provides additional funds to help students who are involved in entrepreneurship, which I think is a great way to show students that they have opportunities to create their own future.”

The Shores had no previous connection to Kennesaw State prior to Doug being asked to join the Coles College of Business advisory board in 1999. From that point on, Doug and Robin became increasingly involved with the University, largely due to always feeling welcome at KSU and being impressed whenever they interacted with students, faculty, staff, administrators or fellow supporters.

“For me, the people are what make KSU so special,” Robin said. “Every time we would leave an event on campus, I would say to Doug, ‘Those people are so impressive. Everyone is enthusiastic about this school.’ That was enlivening to me.”

The Shores became frequent donors to Kennesaw State, including a major financial gift in 2016 that established the Robin and Doug Shore Entrepreneurship Center in the Michael J. Coles College of Business. The Shores’ latest scholarship endowment can assist students not only in the Coles College, which houses the entrepreneurship major, but also undergraduates from other academic colleges who are minoring in entrepreneurship and enrolled in KSU Journey Honors College.

Doug was the co-founder of Shore-Varrone, Inc., a business-to-business media company that he grew from one publication and one trade show to 11 magazine titles, seven trade shows and a variety of conferences and online businesses before selling the company. He considers entrepreneurship an even more viable pursuit these days, when job opportunities are declining in some traditional career fields.

“Students see that there are all kinds of new horizons out there, especially for so many of our students who are the first in their family to attend college,” said Doug, himself a first-generation college graduate. “You can create your own business around your skills, plus the business skills that you can learn in entrepreneurship.”

The Shores’ contributions include several other scholarships for Kennesaw State students, including the Joseph Shore Scholarship to assist sales and marketing students and the Beverly F. Shore Endowed Scholarship for aerospace engineering majors. Robin, who studied abroad in Germany when she was in college, established the Robin Schmidt Shore Scholarship for Great Books cohort students studying at KSU’s educational site in Montepulciano, Italy, and later created another scholarship for Honors students to study abroad, the Howard Shealy Endowed Fund for Honors College study abroad.

In fact, of the many events Doug and Robin attend at Kennesaw State, their favorite is the scholarship luncheon hosted by the Office of University Development. The annual program is an opportunity for students to connect with the donors who funded their scholarships.

“The first recipient of the Robin Schmidt Shore Scholarship was an Honors student who was working three jobs,” Robin said. “That’s really deserving.”

Honors students are near and dear to Robin, a founding member of the KSU Journey Honors College advisory council and the most recent advisory council chair, effective January 1, 2021. Robin in turn asked her friend Rosemary Brown to serve on the Honors advisory council and, just like the Shores, the Browns were impressed by what they saw Kennesaw State students and faculty accomplishing.

That led to John and Rosemary Brown establishing a $10 million endowment matching fund for scholarships for students in KSU Journey Honors College. While not everyone is able to give at the same level as the Browns, Doug and Robin hope that their efforts might inspire other people to support Kennesaw State.

“I’d be happy to introduce people to students and faculty and administrators at KSU, and show them what’s going on in Kennesaw and Marietta,” Doug said. “That’s where the excitement is, and that’s how you build an attachment to the University.”

— Paul Floeckher

Photos by David Caselli

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