Topics: Speakers, Miller College of Business, Student Affairs

January 31, 2007

Jerry Greenfield
Jerry Greenfield
Jerry Greenfield has come a long way since working as an ice cream scooper in a college cafeteria. Now the Ben & Jerry's co-founder is coming to Ball State, where he will share his company's signature ice cream flavors before imparting words of wisdom about entrepreneurship and philanthropy.

Greenfield will discuss "Entrepreneurial Spirit, Social Responsibility and Radical Business Philosophy" during the 7 p.m. lecture Feb. 20 at Pruis Hall.

The program - which is free and open to the public - is sponsored by Ball State's Excellence in Leadership and Week of Action with support from the Miller College of Business and Student Voluntary Services. Ice cream will be available while supplies last.

Greenfield and Ben Cohen met in a seventh grade gym class and became friends. The friendship eventually led them to Oberlin College, where Greenfield scooped ice cream in the college cafeteria. After graduating, Greenfield aspired to become a doctor, but he was twice turned down for admission to medical schools.

By 1977, Greenfield and Cohen moved to Vermont and completed a $5 correspondence course in ice cream-making offered by Penn State. They aced the open-book test, and launched their fledgling ice cream business in 1978 using a $12,000 investment, of which $4,000 was borrowed.

Now the company, which has become a model for its values-led business practices, contributes a minimum of $1.1 million of its proceeds annually through corporate philanthropy that is primarily employee led.

For more information about Greenfield's appearance, contact Aimee Ash, associate director of student life, at (765) 285-3476 or

By Kim Jackson