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$10 Million Gift Champions Entrepreneurship and Innovation

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.
Through their gift, Jack and Jan Derby ensure that entrepreneurial thinking and innovation will thrive at Tufts for years to come. Photo: Alonso Nichols

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.