The Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute announced the new Three S Lassonde Student Leadership Award to celebrate student leaders and selected the first recipient recently.
The award was created through the vision and generosity of Jack Brittain, a Lassonde faculty chair and former dean of the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business. He established the award in honor of alumni Stuart Fetzer, Seth Shaner and Scott Holley.
Fetzer, Shaner and Holley were the first student leaders at the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute and worked alongside Brittain to help establish programs that now involve thousands of students every year. This award honors their contributions and recognizes the contributions made by current student leaders. It will be given annually to an outstanding student leader at the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute.
“Stuart, Seth and Scott were the students who were with us at the beginning when all we could offer was a ‘thank you,’” Brittain said. “They helped us get the programs going before we had the Lassonde gift, and they are forever supporters. I want them to be remembered.”
Fetzer and Shaner created the Utah Entrepreneur Challenge, a statewide business-model competition for college students. They designed and managed the competition and raised money for the first prizes.
“I am so grateful that I was able to contribute and that Jack and others with authority trusted me,” Fetzer said. “I hope that this prize is seen by the recipient as evidence that someone believes in them.”
“I think the potential impact of this award is enormous,” Shaner said. “The reason the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute exists today is because Jack Brittain set his ego aside and allowed students to see what they could do.”
Holley was the first student director of the Lassonde New Venture Development Center, a program that provides an opportunity for graduate students to work side-by-side with faculty inventors, industry professionals and entrepreneurs. He helped select the first cohort, set up the curriculum, and invite guest lecturers to participate in the program.
“I was only able to dedicate the time and energy to the programs that I was part of because of the scholarships and prizes provided by these programs,” Holley said. “I hope that the recipient of this prize will be able to use it to maximize their efforts in this critical period of their professional development to make their mark on the school.”
The first recipient of this award is Clarissa Seebohm. She has been a student leader in the Make Program at the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute for years and served as the student director for the 2022-23 academic year. She is studying mechanical engineering and expects to graduate in May 2024.
“Being a student leader has given me the opportunity to do something I love while helping others pursue their passions,” she said. “I am honored to receive this award and be recognized for the work I’ve put into the Make Program.”
Learn more about programs for student entrepreneurs at the University of Utah on the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute website here.
About the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute
The Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute is a nationally ranked hub for student entrepreneurship and innovation at the University of Utah and an interdisciplinary division of the David Eccles School of Business. The first programs were offered in 2001, through the vision and support of Pierre Lassonde, an alumnus of the Eccles School and successful mining entrepreneur. The institute now provides opportunities for thousands of students to learn about entrepreneurship and innovation. Programs include workshops, networking events, business-plan competitions, startup support, innovation programs, graduate seminars, scholarships, community outreach and more. All programs are open to students from any academic major or background. The Lassonde Institute also manages Lassonde Studios, a five-story innovation space and housing facility for all students. Learn more at lassonde.utah.edu.