Jack and Jan Derby’s philanthropy names the Derby Entrepreneurship Center at Tufts and creates a lasting legacy for a popular teacher and former director of the innovation hub
Innovative ideas find fertile ground at the Tufts Entrepreneurship Center, and Jack Derby has helped them flourish as one of the center’s most popular teachers and its former director. Thanks to a $10 million gift to Tufts, now Derby and his wife, Jan, are ensuring that those ideas thrive for years to come.
The gift creates a $9 million endowment that will name the Derby Entrepreneurship Center at Tufts and ensure the university will continue to help students develop an entrepreneurial mindset and the skills to turn ideas into successful ventures.
In addition, $1 million supports a new multidisciplinary academic building and names its first-floor atrium as the Jack and Jan Derby Lobby. Joyce Cummings Center, which will house the Derby Entrepreneurship Center, is set to open in January 2022 on the Medford-Somerville campus.
The gift creates a meaningful legacy for Jack Derby, who has taught sales and marketing at Tufts for two decades.
“It is a privilege to teach at Tufts,” said Derby, founder of and strategic advisor with Derby Management. “I share President Monaco’s vision to take entrepreneurship and innovation to the next level and to reach across all the schools throughout the university, encouraging exciting collaborations among students, alumni, faculty, and staff.”
That mission goes hand in hand with supporting the larger aspirations for Joyce Cummings Center, he said. The Jack and Jan Derby Lobby will make a positive first impression “the moment you walk in the door,” he said. “It will be bright, wide, and open,” a fitting expression of the building’s academic and research mission, with its focus on fostering dialogue and collaboration. “We are honored to be associated with this inviting and welcoming space.”