Author: David Dodson

Published

BB&T Corp., the nation’s 10th largest financial holding company, has pledged to give $1.5 million over 10 years to the University of Georgia’s Terry College of Business to expand teaching and research into the foundations of capitalism and free market economies.

The gift will establish the BB&T Support Fund for the Study of Capitalism and Market Economies in the Department of Banking and Finance.

About half of BB&T’s $150,000 annual contribution will enable the Terry College to develop new coursework that will expose undergraduate students at UGA to the historical foundations of capitalism, how it’s viewed in contemporary society, and its future prospects. The remaining funds will provide faculty support for research on capital markets, market competition, government-controlled incentives and disincentives for productivity, and comparative studies of economic systems.

"As the Terry College of Business approaches the centennial of its founding in 1912, it is fitting that we should take this opportunity to look more closely at the historical tenets of capitalism and consider its changing role in an increasingly interconnected and interdependent global market," said Dean Robert T. Sumichrast. "Thanks to BB&T’s support, we expect to develop in our students a deeper historical and philosophical understanding of capitalism and its relation to economic well-being."

In recent years, BB&T has privately supported a number of college programs promoting the study of the foundations of capitalism. BB&T donated similar amounts to establish the BB&T Program of Free Enterprise at Florida State University’s College of Business and the BB&T Chair for the Study of Objectivism in the philosophy department at the University of Texas at Austin.

Each student who is admitted to the Terry College will receive a copy of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, as well as writings by other classic economists and philosophers, including Milton Friedman, Friedrich von Hayek, John Keynes, Karl Marx, Joseph Schumpeter and Adam Smith.

In support of research, the Terry College will select BB&T Scholars among faculty members who are actively engaged in research pertaining to market competition, corporate governance, capital markets and government agencies that monitor and intervene in the economy. The faculty who are named BB&T Scholars will be chosen on a competitive basis, and they will hold the appointments for a three-year period.

The Finance Department at Terry maintains an impressive track record of research, and the faculty’s devotion to academic exploration augments the classroom experience. Faculty in the department have extensive professional experience in the areas of capital markets, corporate finance, international finance and corporate governance. They also serve as editors and publish in a wide number of prominent academic journals.

BB&T Corp. (NYSE: BBT) is the 10th largest financial services holding company in the U.S., with more than $163 billion in assets and market capitalization of $22.4 billion. Based in Winston-Salem, N.C., the company operates more than 1,800 financial centers in 12 states and Washington, D.C., and offers a full range of consumer and commercial banking, securities brokerage, asset management, mortgage and insurance products and services. A Fortune 500 company, BB&T is consistently recognized for outstanding client satisfaction by J.D. Power and Associates, the U.S. Small Business Administration, Greenwich Associates and others. More information about BB&T and its full line of products and services is available at www.BBT.com.