Oglethorpe University Launching Business School with $50M Gift

Staff Report From Metro Atlanta CEO

Monday, October 2nd, 2017

Oglethorpe University 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.

“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,” added Lawrence M. Schall, J.D., Ed.D., who has served as president since 2005. “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.”

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.

“It has been amazing to watch what Oglethorpe continues to accomplish as an institution. With President Schall’s leadership, as well as that of an active, engaged Board of Trustees and committed alumni, we are ensuring the future of not only this institution, but also our graduates. I speak for the entire Oglethorpe family in thanking Bill and Diane Hammack for making such an incredible gift,” concluded Oglethorpe alumnus Tim Tassopoulos (’81), president and COO of Chick-fil-A and chair of the Oglethorpe Board of Trustees.

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.