The Seachrist Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies was established in 2000 by the late William E. Seachrist '52 and his wife, Marjorie. Its goal is to provide students and faculty with opportunities to study entrepreneurship and to meet and to work with entrepreneurs through its programs. Its emphasis is on public and social entrepreneurship and the encouragement of entrepreneurial approaches to solving pressing civic problems.
During the past ten years, the Seachrist Institute has provided funding for public lectures by nationally-known entrepreneurs, including environmentalist Paul Hawken, economist Michael Shuman, journalists Earl Shorris and Louis Uchitelle, Nobel laureate Jody Williams, and journalist David Brancaccio. The Seachrist Institute also supports the Franklin & Marshall Local Economy Center, which promotes community awareness of economic development matters, enlists students and faculty to meet the research needs of the community's economic development constituencies, and brings the best available thinking and practices to the community.