- Pamela Miller For the AJC
Oglethorpe University recently announced the receipt of the largest gift in its 182-year history, valued at $50 million, from alumnus Q. William “Bill” Hammack Jr. (‘73) that will allow the university to establish a new School of Business while also supporting its core tradition of arts and humanities.
“I didn’t know it at the time, but my years at Oglethorpe resulted in much more than the requisite college degree. As I reflect back upon my professional success, I can directly attribute it to the leadership, communication, and critical thinking skills I learned by attending a liberal arts institution,” commented Hammack who recently retired from his position as President and CEO of C. W. Matthews Contracting Co. Inc. “By making this gift to Oglethorpe, I hope to help a new generation of business leaders find their own success.”
The gift will come to Oglethorpe through a foundation established by Hammack and his wife, Diane, and a significant portion will go to the university’s endowment. The first portion of the gift will be used to start the Q. William Hammack, Jr. School of Business, for which the search for a dean will begin later this year. The gift is the largest given to a liberal arts and sciences university to establish a school of business.
The historic bequest adds to a growing list of significant accomplishments for the university, including the early completion of a $50 million comprehensive campaign in 2015, and a recently-announced lead gift from the Cousins Foundation to the $20 million capital campaign for the new I. W. “Ike” Cousins Center for Science and Innovation, in which the Q. William Hammack, Jr. School of Business will be housed. Cousins was a 1927 Oglethorpe graduate.
The search for the new dean will be launched later this year and the Hammack School of Business is expected to open in the fall of 2019.
Founded in 1835, Oglethorpe University is a co-educational small private college, home to 1,250 eclectic and engaged students from 32 states and 33 countries.