RALEIGH – Lewis Sheats, one of the best know leaders in teaching entrepreneurship to students in the Triangle, is retiring from his position at N.C. State. But he’s not leaving the profession.

Sheats is leaving to become the director of the Chaifetz Center for Entrepreneurship at St. Louis University.

The appointment was effective Monday, Nov. 1, the same day he posted his retirement news from NCSU.

“In January, with great emotion, I end my time at NC State exactly 20 years after I began co-teaching that lone entrepreneurship class. However, this does not end my admiration and care for the University and the students that so affected me,” Sheats wrote in a Facebook post.

Lewis Sheats (NCSU photo)

Sheats will step down as Assistant Vice Provost for Entrepreneurship and Executive Director of Entrepreneurship Clinic in the Department of Management Innovation & Entrepreneurship.

“My goal is to make SLU the No. 1 entrepreneurship program in the country and I think we have all the pieces in place to do that,” he said in a statement.

In his Facebook post, Sheats noted:

“Nearly 20 years ago I was invited to co-teach the entrepreneurship class at NC State Poole College of Management. Accepting was one of the best decisions I have ever made. Little did I know how much that decision would impact my family and my life,” he wrote.

“I fell in love being in the classroom with the students. Their energy and hunger were and is still contagious. They allowed me to be a small part of their journey, and for that I am forever grateful. I consider each of my students a part of my family. I care for them. I am proud of them. I am in awe of them. For this, I thank them.”
The news triggered hundreds of comments, such as:
“I so loved my time in your classes at NC State and our friendship since! Your guidance and belief in me has made a huge impact on my life and I’m so thankful for you.
“Thanks for teaching all of us to be confident in our ideas and passions!
“As a parent of one of your students, I’m a witness of your positive impact in their lives and my family will be forever thankful.
“You will be missed but your contributions will not be forgotten.”
Sheats said he remains available to students:
“I begin my classes with an offer to meet students at 6am for coffee, 11pm for beer, or anytime in between – all they had to do is ask. This offer still stands and forever will.
“To my former students, I owe you for the great gift you have given me. Please know I am still here for you, rooting for you, and living vicariously through you.”
St. Louis U. noted Sheats’ experience as a business executive as well:
He “founded Interstate Logistics, Inc. in 1996; served as vice president of QAS, Inc, from 2003-08 and was a founding member of Securus, Inc. in 2008. He is currently a part-time chief strategy officer for Malartu, Inc.,” the university said.