Oglethorpe University in Brookhaven announced Sept. 29 it has received a $50 million gift from alumnus Q. William “Bill” Hammack Jr. to establish a new School of Business. This is the largest gift in the university has received in its 182-year history.
“I didn’t know it at the time, but my years at Oglethorpe resulted in much more than the requisite college degree,” Hammack, class of 1973, said in a prepared statement. Hammack recently retired from his position as President and CEO of C. W. Matthews Contracting Co., Inc.
“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,” he added. “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, according to a university press release.
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, according to Oglethorpe. The Hammack School of Business is expected to open in the fall of 2019.
“This gift will be transformational for Oglethorpe. For an alumnus to make this significant of an investment is the greatest possible validation that the education and experience we offer is valuable both to our students and to the community they go on to work within,” said Oglethorpe President Lawrence M. Schall in a prepared statement. “This is a truly exciting next chapter in Oglethorpe’s proud history and we will owe a tremendous debt of gratitude to Bill Hammack for many years to come.”