Center for Entrepreneurship and the Liberal Arts

Launching a New Initiative

St. John’s College was started by entrepreneurs who saw a new way to design a learning community—a place that was built on the individual mind engaging the biggest ideas and writers throughout history.

Innovators at St. John’s

Center For Entrepreneurship And The Liberal Arts Workshop St Johns Annapolis 2018
CELA Workshop, Fall 2018

Stringfellow Barr and Scott Buchanan had some innovative ideas in 1937 when they introduced the new program: Set aside lecture halls and replace them with seminar tables, move away from the hierarchy of professor-student and toward a single community where all members hold an equal place, and don’t get distracted by today’s hot topic and focus instead on what endures. Students come to St. John’s to be part of that innovation and a member of a startup community that is now nearly a century old.

The innovative spirit remains part of St. John’s College today. Johnnies select this college because it is a place where their creativity, energy and innovation can engage Aristotle, Kant, Leibniz, Tolstoy, and more. It is a place where a student can find the spark in an idea and run with it wherever it goes.

How to Join

Steven Virgil Center For Entrepreneurship and the Liberal Arts St Johns
Steven Virgil leads a CELA workshop​​​​​​

The Center for Entrepreneurship and the Liberal Arts (CELA) is a yearlong program that will help students step into enterprise, whether that be a for-profit, nonprofit or social enterprise. Johnnies in CELA will learn how to move a good idea forward to a viable enterprise and then connect them to a network of mentors and potential partners for the next stage.

CELA is open to current Johnnies and alumni in the greater Annapolis area and is provided by the college for a $25 registration fee. Contact Jaime Dunn for more information.

CELA Faculty

Steven Virgil (A88)
Professor of Law, Wake Forest University School of Law

Jaime Dunn
Director of Career Services, Annapolis
410-626-2500​ | jaime.dunn(at)

CELA Acknowledgements

Thank you to the following individuals for giving their time and expertise to the program:

  • Jack Armstrong (A83)—Owner, Armstrong Development Company
  • Betsy Bassan (A76)—President and CEO, of Panagora Group
  • Claiborne Booker (A84)—Founder, Quadrivium Partners LLC
  • Mike Brey—Founder and President, Brey Corp.
  • Samuel Casey Carter (A88)—President/Owner, Carter Research
  • Akiba Covitz (A91)—Chief Business Officer, Sense Education
  • Neil Fennerty (AGI16)—International Sales Manager, Global Partners, Inc.
  • Jeff Franklin (AGI81)—Founder and President, Franklin’s Toys
  • Sam Huxley (A95)—Independent Consultant, Sam Huxley Consulting
  • Jeremy Olsen (A07)—Co-founder and Executive Director, The Commons
  • Jason Walsh (A85)—Chief Commercialization Officer, GPB Scientific, LLC