James “Jay” Nault, owner of Storage Zone Self Storage & Business Centers, has donated $10 million to the University of South Florida’s (USF) Center of Entrepreneurship in the Muma College of Business. As a result of the gift, the center will be renamed the Nault Center for Entrepreneurship in his honor, according to a press release.
Nault earned a bachelor’s degree in finance from USF in 1983 and a Master of Business Administration from the university in 1984. He has a longstanding philanthropic relationship with the center and business school, having already provided a scholarship to students in the entrepreneurship program, the release stated.
“We are so grateful for Jay’s generosity, which will bolster USF’s nationally ranked, interdisciplinary entrepreneurship center in the Muma College of Business,” sad USF President Rhea Law. “USF continues to be a hub of innovation on the world stage, and this gift will have a direct impact on shaping our students to become tomorrow’s business leaders.”
The money will be used to create a new “living-learning community,” expand the center’s mentor program, hold more competitions like the one featured on the television show “Shark Tank,” and support potential new degree options for executives, according to the release.
“Jay Nault’s remarkable gift is a watershed moment for the USF Center for Entrepreneurship. It paves the way for us to embark on an ambitious path that will provide our students with unparalleled entrepreneurial opportunities and real-world learning experiences,” said GJ de Vreede, interim dean of the Muma College of Business. “We will create a vibrant culture of innovation and experimentation that will transform USF’s students into successful innovators and entrepreneurs, and benefit the business community in the greater Tampa Bay area and beyond.”
“My journey as a lifelong entrepreneur started right here at USF,” said Nault, who’s also president and owner of Anclote Holding Co. Inc., a privately owned real estate holding company. “I am inspired by the many students in this program and can’t wait to see all of the great work done by its alumni.”
Founded in 1986 and based in Jacksonville, Florida, Storage Zone operates 38 self-storage facilities across Florida, Georgia and South Carolina. Its portfolio comprises more than 1.7 million rentable square feet.
Source: University of South Florida, University of South Florida Alumnus Gives $10M to Name the Nault Center for Entrepreneurship