On a sunny afternoon in October 1991, faculty, staff, and students gathered on the front lawn of Brooks Hall to celebrate the official naming of UGA’s business school as the C. Herman and Mary Virginia Terry College of Business.
With new brass letters shining at the peak of Brooks Hall and a newly printed Terry College T-shirt adorning the podium, UGA President Charles Knapp and Dean Albert Niemi (see photo at right) presided over this historic event, which is now nearing its 25th anniversary.
Herman Terry (BSC ’39) and his wife, Mary Virginia, had been avid supporters of the UGA business school, funding endowed faculty chairs and student scholarships. But this humble couple had to be persuaded that lending their name to the college would yield far-reaching benefits — giving it a much more recognizable identity within the university and in the U.S. business school community at large.
When it was his turn at the podium, Herman reminisced about his student days and the impact his education had on his career, then concluded by saying that he and Mary Virginia were overwhelmed by the gratitude they had received.
“It is an honor we will never forget,” he said, “and we accept it in total humility.”
Herman Terry held executive positions with several insurance firms, including president of Dependable Insurance Co. He was honored with the Terry College’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 1986. He was also an emeritus trustee of the UGA Foundation. He passed away in 1998.
Mary Virginia Terry continues to be a friend and supporter of both the college and UGA. She is an emeritus trustee of the Arch Foundation, and she received an honorary doctorate from UGA in 2009. She is a charter member of the college’s Pinnacle Society, a recipient of the Dean’s Distinguished Service Award, and she was the 2011 Terry Graduation Convocation keynote speaker.