Published on July 11, 2017 by Kara Kennedy  
Carson Charles

Charles M. “Chad” Carson has been appointed Brock Family Chair in Entrepreneurship in Samford University’s Brock School of Business. In this role, he will lead the Regions New Venture Challenge business plan competition, assume management of the Student Incubator and work on a strategic plan for the entrepreneurship major. Carson teaches classes in entrepreneurship at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, and hosts an entrepreneurship roundtable each month.   

Brock School of Business Dean Howard Finch said, “With his family background, industry contacts and academic experience, Professor Carson is uniquely qualified to hold the Brock Family Chair in Entrepreneurship. Our students and programs will benefit from his expertise.”

“It is an exciting time to be an entrepreneur. There are many opportunities today to create new businesses,” said Carson, who also serves as associate dean of the business school. “As baby boomers retire or near retirement, there are many opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs to buy into successful businesses.”

The entrepreneurship program and major were added to the curriculum at the business school in fall 2008 after the school was named for Birmingham businessman Harry B. Brock Jr. Franz Lohrke laid the foundation for the program and has grown the program to where it is today. 

The next phase for the program, according to Carson, will be to engage the business alumni base more and to become a resource for Samford alumni who are entrepreneurs. Students also will be given more opportunities to network and learn from entrepreneurs regionally and locally, both in the classroom and with internship placements. Carson also anticipates growing business plan submissions for the Regions New Venture Challenge and to partner across campus with student entrepreneurs in Samford’s pharmacy and journalism and mass communication programs. 

Carson wants to enhance the Student Incubator experience by helping students create limited liability corporations, develop websites, and establish articles of partnership or incorporation, as well other start-up expenses. Incubator residents will benefit from mentoring meetings and brown-bag sessions with experienced entrepreneurs.  

“With the help of several Brock School of Business donors, we will be able to help pay for the expenses a student entrepreneur will have in start-up costs,” Carson said. 

Carson stated that he hopes to foster more of an entrepreneurial mindset in students regardless of their business major. “We want to be seen as the leader in Christ-centered business education, and we want the marketplace to know that the students who graduate from Samford will be ethical entrepreneurs who are trained to meet any need that arises with Christian values.” 

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.