Visionary entrepreneur and philanthropist Frank Hawkins Kenan created the Kenan Institute in 1985 to promote collaboration among business, government and academia that would support the growth of private enterprise worldwide and use private-sector resources to serve the public interest.
His vision was to promote collaboration among business, government and academia that would help drive the growth of private enterprise worldwide and leverage the resources of the private sector to serve the public interest.
Today, the impact of Kenan Institute research and initiatives can be seen in thriving businesses and communities around the world.
William R. Kenan Jr. Fund established to support a variety of initiatives, including the development of an institute of private enterprise, the brainchild of Frank Hawkins Kenan.
University of North Carolina Board of Governors approves establishment of the institute within the business school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Rollie Tillman Jr., UNC vice chancellor for university relations and marketing professor, named director.
Board of Trustees holds first meeting (November).
Initial institute programs focus on research, executives-in-residence, enterprise fellows, management seminars and an association of venture founders.
Kenan Center dedicated as home to the institute and William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust and Funds.
Frank Hawkins Kenan Institute of Private Enterprise named.
Institute becomes home to Entrepreneur of the Year Hall of Fame.
Three research centers open: Center for Competitiveness and Employment Growth, Center for Manufacturing Excellence and Center for Management Studies.
International Conference on Competitiveness hosted. Ross Perot and David Gergen keynote.
John D. Kasarda, professor and chair of the UNC's Department of Sociology, named director.
Tillman becomes chairman of the board of trustees.
Institute mission broadens to include international activities.
MBA Enterprise Corps and International Private Enterprise Development Research Center launch.
Global TransPark concept develops from research on new manufacturing strategies, aviation infrastructure and logistics.
Citibank International Fellows Program funded, lay¬ing groundwork for institute's Asia presence.
Institute begins $1 million Federal Aviation Adminis¬tration study of airport logistics facilities.
Urban Enterprise Corps established.
U.S. -Thailand Development Partnership (predecessor to Kenan Institute Asia) launches in Bangkok with $10 million U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) grant.
Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) wins first U.S. Department of Education grant ($661,557), recognized as a national resource center.
Kenan Institute Asia forms from the U.S.-Thailand Development Partnership program.
Urban Investment Strategies Center opens with support from the Rockefeller Foundation, J. P. Morgan Bank, Chase Manhattan Bank and Citibank.
Kenan Institute Asia endowed at $11.65 million by U.S. Agency for International Development, The Royal Thai Government, and the William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust.
Center for Logistics and Digital Strategy (CLDS) established.
CLDS forms Global Logistics Research Initiative.
North Carolina Center for World Languages and Cultures joins the institute as an affiliate; changes name to North Carolina Global Center and launches signature Working Languages program (Its program later merge into the Center for International Business Education and Research).
Kenan Institute Asia launches American Corporations for Thailand (ACT) campaign to retrain workers displaced by the region's financial crisis.
Center for Community Capitalism created with Ford Foundation funding (later moves to become part of UNC Department of City and Regional Planning, renamed UNC Center for Community Capital).
UNC Office of Economic Development (now the Carolina Center for Competitive Economies) launches as a joint venture of the institute and UNC-Chapel Hill to promote economic and community prosperity across North Carolina and beyond.
Mobilize America's Technology for the Challenge of Development program launches with $2.5 million USAID funding to link U.S. small businesses with business opportunities in Egypt.
Management Academy of Public Health begins, a partnership of the Kenan Institute and UNC School of Public Health with funding from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration, W. K. Kellogg Foundation and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Kenan Institute Asia begins Accelerating Economic Recovery in Asia (AERA) Program with $18 million USAID funding to fund a variety of development projects.
UNC wins second CIBER grant ($740,000).
MBA Enterprise Corps concludes successful decade with more than 600 corps members, merges with Washington, D.C.-based Citizens Development Corps.
Center for Air Commerce launches to advance applications of the logistics and airport-driven economic development research and innovations developed by institute director John D. Kasarda and Center for Logistics and Digital Strategy director Noel Greis and their teams.
Center for Excellence in Logistics and Technology (LOGTECH) formed with U.S. Department of Defense funding through the Institute for Defense and Business, a Kenan Institute affiliate.
UNC wins third CIBER grant ($1.45 million).
UNC receives $3.5 million five-year grant from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation for the campuswide Carolina Entrepreneurial Initiative, directed by the institute. (The $12 million project sunsets in 2006, lays foundation for Innovate @Carolina.)
Carolina Challenge created and Launching the Venture expanded with Carolina Entrepreneurial Initiative funding to help UNC students, faculty and staff learn to create new businesses and nonprofits.
Tsunami Recovery Action Initiative launches as joint effort of the institute and Kenan Institute Asia, with major funding from the William R. Kenan Jr. Fund.
UNC wins fourth CIBER grant ($1.38 million).
Kenan Institute Liaisons program (now Kenan Institute Leadership Fellows Program) launches to more closely link UNC Kenan-Flagler students with institute research and outreach opportunities.
Rollie Tillman Jr. Award for Outstanding Leadership, named for Kenan-Flagler professor emeritus of marketing Rollie Tillman Jr., the institute's first director, established to honor a graduating MBA Leadership Fellow for superior contributions to the program.
Business Across Borders program created by Kenan Institute Leadership Fellows to prepare students to do business in key markets of the world and connect them with business people who can support their careers.
Center for Logistics and Digital Strategy and Tsin¬ghua University's Department of Industrial Engi¬neering create Center for Logistics and Enterprise Development to pursue research and programs that promote U.S.-Asia trade. Founding industry partners are The Boeing Co., Lenovo, General Motors and China Railway Co.
CIBER launches the first Global Business Project course, a partnership of 16 MBA programs, that fields teams of students guided by business and lan¬guage faculty for 10-week consulting projects with multinational and local clients in countries important to U.S. competitiveness.
Union Independent School (now Global Scholars Academy) opens in Durham, N.C. as a model for educating children in distressed urban areas, the product of collaboration between Urban Investment Strategies Center Director James H. Johnson Jr. and Union Baptist Church.
Institute administers, advises and participates in $1.38 million UNC research project linking UNC expertise with Duke/RTI Institute for Homeland Security Systems initiatives.
Born-Global Young Leaders Program hosted, with funding from the Institute of International Education, to develop and nurture entrepreneurial leaders in Bulgaria.
Business Growth Initiative launches in eastern North Carolina to help communities identify companies with the highest potential to grow and taking strategic steps to help them do so.
John D. Kasarda leaves the institute directorship after 22 years. During his tenure, the institute attracts more than $90 million in grants, contracts and gifts for 400 research and outreach projects related to en¬trepreneurship, economic development and global competitiveness.
Joseph M. DeSimone, Chancellor’s Eminent Professor of Chemistry at UNC and William R. Kenan Jr. Distinguished Professor of Chemical Engineering at N.C. State University and of Chemistry at UNC, named Kenan Institute director.
Center for Strategic Economic Growth launches with five-year, $642,949 grant from the U.S. Economic Development Administration and $1 million in matching funds from the Kenan Institute to help communities create vibrant economies by supporting high-growth entrepreneurs.