SJU Office of Veterans Services Receives $90,000 Newman’s Own Foundation Grant

Friday, November 3, 2017

PHILADELPHIA (Nov. 3, 2017) — Saint Joseph’s University’s Entrepreneurship Programs for Veterans have been awarded a three-year $30,000 ($90,000 total) grant from Newman’s Own Foundation, the independent foundation created by late actor and philanthropist, Paul Newman.

Newman’s Own Foundation made the award to the programs, which are housed in the Haub School of Business, as part of a broader commitment to support military personnel, veterans and their families. This funding will help an additional five veterans each year (55 total) to launch their own businesses through a 12-month experiential training program of three phases that combines mentorship with classroom and online learning.

“Working closely alongside SJU faculty, industry experts and mentors, veterans enrolled in our entrepreneurship programs learn how to transfer the skills they acquired in the military to launch a new career and to create a legacy for their families,” says Interim Associate Dean Natalie T. Wood, Ph.D., associate professor of marketing. “Our programs would not be possible without the generous support of organizations such as Newman's Own Foundation. We are very grateful for their support of our programs and the veteran community at large.”

The SJU programs enable veterans to learn the different paths to business ownership and to acquire the skills needed to succeed as a business owner. The programs offer two different modules with the same curriculum: the Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans (EBV) and Veterans Entrepreneurial Jumpstart Program (VEJ). EBV focuses on the needs of post-9/11 disabled veterans and is conducted in partnership with Syracuse University’s national consortium. SJU developed the VEJ program for veterans interested in owning their own businesses.  

Bob Forrester, President and CEO of Newman’s Own Foundation says, “The freedoms and opportunities we enjoy as Americans cannot be taken for granted. The men and women of our military, veterans and their families deserve our enduring gratitude and support. We are pleased to fund Saint Joseph’s University’s Entrepreneurship Programs for Veterans in their work to help improve the lives of those who serve.”

In addition, the funding will allow the SJU Office of Veterans Services, a nationally ranked, top- five program serving veteran college students, to partner with the Initiative for Family Business and Entrepreneurship (IFBE) in developing new content that specifically and actively targets female veterans for participation in the VEJ and EBV programs.  

“Female veterans comprise one of the fastest growing subpopulations within the veteran community, yet this group uses military benefits and services at lower rates than their male counterparts,” says Kevin Gelzhiser, assistant director of Veterans Services. “This grant from Newman’s Own Foundation will help SJU fulfill its commitment to reaching these veterans who have honorably served our country. In the past, our participation has been as high as 40 percent, and we anticipate that at least 25 percent of our veteran participants will be female, far exceeding the 15 percent female representation among all veterans.”

“The IFBE is honored to partner with Veterans Services in bringing this vital programming to women who have served our country in the armed forces,” says Brian Brogan, director of the IFBE. “We are grateful to Newman’s Own for giving us the opportunity to, in turn, serve these veterans.”

Newman’s Own Foundation recently provided grants to 26 nonprofit organizations that assist veterans and their families as part of a $6.7 million commitment to honor those who serve. These organizations provide a wide variety of support, including education, career development, mentoring, guide dogs, adaptive vehicles, and other services. The Foundation continues Paul Newman’s commitment to give all profits and royalties from the sale of Newman’s Own food and beverage products to charity. Since 1982, more than $495 million has been donated to thousands of charities around the world.

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Patricia Allen, Director of Communications,, 610-660-3240


Founded in 1851 in the Jesuit tradition of academic excellence, Saint Joseph’s University is a top-ranked Catholic University that provides a rigorous, student-centered education. With a total enrollment of 8,500 undergraduate and graduate students, SJU offers a wide array of academic programs designed so that each graduate enters the world with a competitive resume and global perspective. This is achieved through intense academic study led by thought-leading faculty scholars, a comprehensive campus experience and robust study abroad, service-learning, internship and co-op programs. Upon graduation, nearly 100 percent of students are employed, pursuing advanced degrees or volunteering in prestigious service programs. A member of the Atlantic 10 Conference, SJU offers 20 Division I intercollegiate men’s and women’s sports. SJU alumni — over 68,000 strong — provide a powerful network that spans the globe.

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