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KELLEHER CENTER

About the Kelleher Center

The mission of the Herb Kelleher Center for Entrepreneurship, Growth, and Renewal is to encourage and empower entrepreneurial thinking through outstanding teaching, research, engagement, and experiential learning.

Herb Kelleher, founder of Southwest Airlines, wears a gray suit and red tie and is set to fire off a paper airplane and smiles widely.

Our Founder: Herb Kelleher

“I endowed the Herb Kelleher Center as a devout believer in the excitements and in the rewards of entrepreneurship for job seekers and for America.”

The Herb Kelleher Center for Entrepreneurship, Growth, and Renewal was founded in 2001 to provide resources to others with an entrepreneurial spirit and encourage innovation; Herb Kelleher's (1931-2019) vision and passion for positive change are reflected in the center, both in name and spirit.

In 1967, Herb founded Southwest Airlines. Prior to this, flying was a luxury and only those that were wealthy or traveling for business used airplanes. With the start of Southwest Airlines, the industry changed. In 1968, competitors sued to keep Herb Kelleher's new airline grounded. After a three-year court fight, the first plane took off from Dallas. Today Southwest Airlines operates nearly 4,000 flights a day.