About the Doherty Center for Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship

The Doherty Center for Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Elon University prepares students to become innovative thinkers to position them for success in the business world as well as in their own personal growth and development. We strive to help students develop an innovative mindset as they cultivate new ideas and business ventures. While entrepreneurship involves the exploration of the unknown, the process for exploration is not unknown. At the Doherty Center, we teach students to become “entre-curious” and to develop the critical thinking skills necessary to recognize opportunities and think creatively.

Our goal is to encourage students at Elon to look at problems and challenges from a new innovative perspective. Emphasizing an active process of curiosity and design thinking that enable students to explore creative relationships between non-obvious things, our center trains students to employ a systemic yet joyful approach to finding solutions. The core pedagogy of the Doherty Center focuses on cultivating students to think entrepreneurially with an integration of hands-on experiences and engaged learning opportunities.

Our mission extends beyond the classroom where we provide real-life experiences for students to engage the local and business community. As a leader in service learning, Elon integrates experiential learning with entrepreneurship to foster creative capacity and entrepreneurial confidence so students can learn effective tools to think innovatively and boldly. We encourage our students to explore ideas and learn how to grow and incubate them, and we thrive at creating opportunities for students to have a meaningful impact in our world by helping them find solutions that create value and purpose.

With an equal emphasis on social innovation, we value having our students explore solutions that have a meaningful social impact in this world. In our efforts to fuel an entrepreneurial mindset, our students are encouraged to take risks, think beyond the box and look at problems with a different lens.

We offer a myriad of opportunities for our students to engage with local, national and international business and community leaders to enhance their entrepreneurial thinking and experience. Our students are expected to engage the business community through mentorships, internships and jobs. We help our students develop the passion, focus and energy to explore and incubate ideas, the knowledge to develop and manage them, and the grit to see them to completion. In the end, we expect our students in their own way to make their mark in our world.

About the Dohertys

Ed and Joan DohertyThe Doherty Center was established by an endowment gift from Ed and Joan Doherty, entrepreneurs from Saddle River, N.J.

The Dohertys are the parents of Kerry Doherty Gatlin, a 2007 Elon graduate, and they have served on the university’s Parents’ Council. Ed currently serves as an Elon Trustee.

Their company, Doherty Enterprises, Inc., is one of the nation’s leading franchise operators of quality family restaurants, including Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill & Bar, Panera Bread and Chevy’s Fresh Mex.