International pioneers of cutting-edge inventions and breakthrough products will be the focus of Washington State University’s new, interactive Entrepreneurship and Innovation Hall of Fame.

“We believe this will be the first center in the world to highlight the accomplishments of these very dynamic and creative people,” said WSU College of Business and Economics Dean Len Jessup.

The hall will serve as the entrance to the planned state-of-the-art Pullman learning facility, the Grant Institute for Entrepreneurship and Innovation, named for Gus Grant, co-founder of Sprint and a 1941 WSU alumnus. Grant has been a driving force behind WSU’s Entrepreneurship and Innovation Initiative, which charges the College of Business and Economics to infuse entrepreneurship, creative thinking and problem-solving into some 245 fields of study universitywide.

“The initiative inspires every student in every undergraduate major and graduate program to literally think about their subjects in new ways and to develop an awareness of how to apply that when starting and/or conducting business,“ Jessup said. “As they develop their ideas and careers, they will help ensure sustained national innovation and economic successes.“

The hall-of-fame entrance will lead students and visitors into learning spaces in the building’s Collaborative Learning Center, where traditional classrooms will be replaced by reconfigurable and resizable suites designed to foster and support brainstorming, collaboration, analyses and high-tech presentations.

Some aspects of the hall were inspired by Microsoft co-founder and WSU alumnus Paul Allen’s Experience Music Project in Seattle.

“The hall of fame also will provide a powerful vehicle for teaching and learning. Students in the Grant Institute will be involved directly in the design, construction and management of the hall,“ Jessup said.

The Grant Institute project is already in motion. Initial funding and the commitment of a facility were secured in 2003, planning and design are under way, and renovation and construction are scheduled to begin in 2005.