The mission of the Dyer Center is to foster and sustain a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship that maximizes the ideas and talent associated with Lafayette College.

by Yusuf Dahl

It is a privilege to lead this charge at a pivotal moment for the institution.  Building a successful program for innovation and entrepreneurship in a liberal arts context is a difficult endeavor. It requires a new paradigm and cultural shift: one that promotes thoughtful risk taking and harnesses the experience and resources of those who have lived it and leveraged it to grow their careers, serve their communities, and lead their organizations.

As I travel across the country and connect with members of our community I am often asked “How can I help.” Outlined below is a general response that hopefully clarifies how you can contribute to this important movement afoot on the hill.

This is an incredibly exciting time for entrepreneurship at Lafayette College. We are adapting and responding to the changing economic realities facing our students and country. We firmly believe that combined with the rigor of a Lafayette education, the Dyer center will enable our students to lead and thrive in what are certain to be increasingly challenging times. I am honored to lead this effort and look forward to working with you on this important initiative.

Yusuf Dahl

Program Engagement/Ideation/Co-Creation

Driven to provide students with timely and relevant learning experiences, we believe that alumni in the trenches are often best situated to serve as catalysts for program creation. Our fall 2018 real estate case competition highlights this model of collaboration. Borne out of a conversation with alumni in the real estate industry, we developed an experiential learning opportunity to improve student financial literacy through the analysis of an actual real estate development project at Lafayette.

Student participation and feedback was overwhelmingly positive and shortly after the conclusion of our competition, the president of our student investment club inquired about doing a similar event around venture capital.


One of the roles of the Dyer Center is to connect fledgling student entrepreneurs to alumni who can provide helpful professional advice. As an example a student recently approached the center seeking advice on a seed funding offer he received for his educational start up. Unsure of his next steps, I connected him with an alumnus from the west coast whose legal practice focuses on venture capital. It was a great example of how one generation of pards can pay it forward to the next.


Students self-select into Dyer Center programming, which in many ways serves as a proxy for hard to measure qualities such as curiosity and ambition. Through our programming, students learn about opportunity identification and customer discovery while practicing integrative thinking, intelligent risk taking, and team building. In short our students are among the best of the best.  If you work in a startup or entrepreneurial firm and are looking for new talent, I encourage you to reach out and partner with the Dyer Center.


I often jest that having a supportive college administration for your program means they will support your efforts as long as you can raise your own money to do it. In the past year we were fortunate to receive a foundational gift to support entrepreneurship at Lafayette from Bradbury Dyer ‘64. It provided us critical runway to experiment and build, but we are still in need of financial support to scale and broaden our efforts.  If you share our vision that innovation and entrepreneurship is critical for individual and collective success, I encourage you to support the Dyer Center as part of your Lafayette philanthropy.