Clemson University
Clemson biz school

Largest-ever donation to Clemson University will support business school

Oct. 20, 2020
South Carolina businessman and his wife give $60 million to the university.

Clemson University in Clemson, S.C., has received a record donation of $60 million to support the new business school at the center of campus.

The Charleston Post and Courier reports that the donor is a businessman, W.O. “Billy” Powers, now in his 80s, who attended Clemson in the 1950s.

The gift, made with his wife, Ann Powers, marks the largest one-time donation to a business school in the state. The business school will be renamed for the couple.

“We have our first named college and our students are going to benefit ... for decades to come,” Clemson President Jim Clements said.

The lion’s share of the Powers’ money will be placed in an endowment, Business dean Wendy York said. It will pay for programs and student scholarships for “a hundred years.” York also said some of the money would go toward the new business college’s construction.

Clemson’s College of Business has more than 5,000 students, and business is the fastest growing major on campus.

The college will now be known as the Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business. Built at a cost of $87.5 million, the twin-tower that houses thebusiness college opened for classes this fall. It  provides 176,000 square feet of teaching and common space for undergraduate business students.

The South Tower of the business college will be named for the Powers’ grandson Chandler Burns, who graduated in 2015 but died of a sudden illness in 2016.

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