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On December 20, 1931, Rudy Lamone, Ph.D. was born to Italian immigrants in Wellsburgh, West Virginia. On January 30, 2023, we lost Rudy.

Rudy was the Dean of the University of Maryland business school when I attended UMD in the late 1970s. Dr. Lamone served as the Dean of the business school from 1973 to 1992. He 1986 Rudy founded one of the first University-based entrepreneurship programs, the Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship,  with a gift from the founder of Allied Signal, Michael Dingman.

Just a few of the notable entrepreneurs who graduated from Rudy’s business school include:

  • Carly Fiorina, MBA ’80, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard
  • Rob McGovern ’83, founder of
  • Beatriz Perez ’91, chief sustainability officer at Coca-Cola
  • Kevin Plank ’96, founder and CEO of Under Armour

in 1998 Dr. Lamone was awarded the University of Maryland’s President’s Medal, the University’s highest honor. According to the Washington Post,

“In his youth, he was an accomplished saxophonist. Lying about his age and using the end of a burned cork to simulate a fake beard and stubble, he would slip into Pittsburgh nightclubs through dimly-lit back entrances so as not to be detected as being under age, family members said.

After graduating from high school, he toured the country with big bands. He served with an Army band from 1952 to 1955, then received a bachelor’s degree in 1958 from Campbell College (now Campbell University) in Buies Creek, N.C. He completed his doctorate at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1966.”

Rudy was a visionary and a true entrepreneur. His entrepreneurial talents transformed Maryland’s business school from obscurity to one of the nation’s top business schools. Rudy’s, Entrepreneurship Center is ranked in the top 10 in the country.

“… there were signifant core grops of faculty and adminstrators across the campus who truly believed that we had a strong foundation for building a great University of Maryland…

I like to think of these people and those that are following in their footseps as acadmec entrepreneurs, risk takers and rule breaers; people can see what other cannot; people refused to be constrained by the tradional boxes we live and work in. These academic entrepreneurs had the courage and the motivation to sep outside of thier boundaries and comfort zones, to think outside the box, to take risks, to be a nonconformist, to take the lead and to be willing to make mistakes as a learn and grow”

— From Rudy’s UMD President’s Medal Acceptance Speach

Rudy was a rare man, an academic who was a true entrepreneur. A man of vision, a man who saw hard and fast rules as mere guidelines, and a man of heart, warmth, and humor. He will be missed.