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Iona Launches Hynes Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation

Record $15 Million Gift to Prepare the Next Generation of Leaders, Innovators


NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. -- In its continued efforts to prepare students for new careers in a global economy defined by constant change and on the heels of tripling its endowment, announcing a new business school building, and hiring over 30 new tenure-track faculty, Iona College has announced plans to endow a visionary institute for entrepreneurs and innovative thinking.

The Hynes Institute for Entrepreneurship & Innovation will establish an interdisciplinary curricular focus for students in any major, create new majors and minors in entrepreneurship, and appoint new endowed faculty fellows. The institute, which also creates a community incubator, will ensure students develop the knowledge, skills and experience required to create, innovate and lead in a global economy empowered by exciting technological advances.

The institute is made possible by the generosity and record $15 million gift to Iona from James and Anne Marie Hynes, who now become the largest lifetime donors to the College. The gift is part of the College’s $150 million Iona Forever campaign to advance student scholarship, accelerate academic innovation and enhance key learning environments.

AnnMarie and James '69, '01H Hynes Anne Marie and James '69, '01H Hynes
“Building on a legacy that has long produced leaders who are known for their entrepreneurship and innovation, the Hynes Institute will fortify Iona's future while preparing our students to be the next generation of big thinkers and global leaders,” said Iona College President Joseph E. Nyre, Ph.D. “At Iona, we understand how important it is to prepare students for careers that were once unimaginable or don’t yet even exist. The Hynes Institute will ensure that our students are not only receiving the education they’ll need to be leaders among their peers in this country, but throughout the world. We are grateful for the Hynes family, their generous gift and continued support.”

Entrepreneurial studies programs help students in moving new ideas from concept to execution. This institute will empower students with hands-on, shared learning experiences to support them in identifying, approaching and solving problems in all aspects of life.

“We wanted to do something for Iona College that would have lasting and far-reaching benefits for all students, present and future,” said Mr. Hynes. “We are underwriting academic innovation and transformation. We believe the entrepreneurial mindset is not only necessary in starting businesses, but it is invaluable in any career or vocation.”

Mr. and Mrs. Hynes are well known in the Iona community for their presence on campus, leadership and philanthropy. Mr. Hynes holds a BA and an honorary doctorate from Iona College, in addition to an MBA from Adelphi University. He has been active in the Iona College community since graduating in 1969, and has served on the College’s Board of Trustees since 1995, and as chairman since 2008. In early 2006, the Hynes Athletics Center on the Iona campus was dedicated in recognition of his leadership philanthropic support.

Mr. Hynes earned international acclaim as an entrepreneur, innovator and business leader whose career includes 25 years of entrepreneurial success in the telecommunications industry. He co-founded and was first CEO of Inteliquent, a leading provider of interconnection services in the United States; was a founder and first CEO, of COLT, PLC, the first non-governmental telecom provider in Europe; and made numerous successful venture capital investments in early stage telecommunications and technology companies.

Mrs. Hynes, a member of the Hynes Institute design team, holds a BA in mathematics, an MS in management science and a law degree from Pace University and is a member of both the New York and Connecticut bars. Her work has been focused on serving the greater community. Most recently she has functioned as a pro bono attorney with the Pace Women’s Justice Center in White Plains, N.Y., working with domestic abuse victims. She serves on numerous boards and is the president of the Hynes Foundation.

"Students from any major will benefit from learning and elevating their creativity, their innovation, and leadership skills into an entrepreneurial mindset," Mrs. Hynes said. "Whether building water filtration systems in Africa, enriching young minds in classrooms around the country, developing public policy or scientific solutions to life's great questions, or founding and leading businesses large and small, we all need to cultivate the essential skills supported by the Hynes Institute.”

The gift comes after a yearlong planning process that included touring leading centers and institutes across the country. The process transitioned from planning to action with the support of the Hynes family. Now, Hynes Fellows are being actively recruited, the search for the endowed director of the Hynes Institute is underway, and campus and community locations for the institute have been identified.

“As a member of the English faculty and chair of the Faculty Senate, I am profoundly appreciative of the investment the Hynes family has made in the College,” said Hugh Short, Ph.D., an Iona faculty member for 42 years. “It’s a transformational gift to bring both schools together in the center of campus – it will have lasting effects on the academy, our faculty, and our students.”

For more information about the Hynes Institute, email interim Director Glenn Horine, professor in Iona's School of Business, at

News media contact: Brian Beyrer, or (914) 637-2726.

About the Iona Forever campaign:

What others are saying:

“Approaching entrepreneurship as a mindset democratizes the discipline and signals to everyone in the Iona community that entrepreneurship is a life skill that must be developed by every student in every part of the College.”

Heidi M. Neck, Ph.D., Jeffry A. Timmons Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies, Babson College, and
President, United States Association for Small Business & Entrepreneurship (USASBE)

“This is by far the largest gift to a private college I have ever seen and Iona couldn’t be a more deserving recipient of this gift. The College’s cross-disciplinary approach is a well-respected strategy, and sets them very high on the benchmark. With greater resources I see amazing things ahead for Iona’s program. USASBE is excited and proud to welcome Iona to our family of over 600 college and university members."  

Patrick Snyder, IOM, Executive Director, United States Association for Small Business & Entrepreneurship (USASBE)

"Entrepreneurship is one of the fastest growing areas of study on college campuses. The Hynes Family gift helps ensure Iona is able to fully foster the entrepreneurial mindset and aspirations of students and faculty from all disciplines."

Eric Liguori, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship, University of Tampa, Lowth Entrepreneurship Center

About Iona College: Founded in 1940, Iona College is a four-year private, coeducational institution of learning in the tradition of the Edmund Rice Christian Brothers and American Catholic higher education, located just 20 miles from Midtown Manhattan. With a growing global network of more than 40,000 alums, Iona is a diverse community of learners and scholars dedicated to academic excellence and the values of justice, peace and service. In addition to inventing and or founding their own companies, Iona alumni attain top leadership positions in arenas including nonprofit and for-profit organizations such as NBC, Univision, NASDAQ, NYSE, American Express, VISA, school districts across the country, law enforcement, law, and the judicial system. Iona offers undergraduate degrees in liberal arts, science and business administration, pre-professional and professional programs, Master of Arts, Master of Science and Business Administration degrees and numerous advanced certificate programs. The College is the second largest private sector employer in New Rochelle and provides more than 66,000 service hours in the community each year.