The University of Tennessee Board of Trustees approved the naming of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga's Gary W. Rollins College of Business Friday, after a historic $40 million gift by UTC graduate Gary Rollins and his wife, Kathleen.
A graduate of the college, Rollins is the Vice Chairman and CEO of Rollins, Inc., a New York Stock Exchange corporation. Rollins hopes the gift will help UTC's College of Business become a national leader in business education and applied business research.
"The UTC College of Business, under Dean Robert Dooley's leadership and fully supported by Chancellor Steve Angle, has a history of success built around community involvement that offers students hands-on experience and, ultimately, a stronger opportunity to be job-ready upon graduation," Rollins said in a statement. "At the same time, the College of Business has been a driving force in helping the Chattanooga region's economic growth which, in turn, has made southeastern Tennessee one of the nation's most desirable destinations."
Use of the funds are under consideration, but could potentially include creating and supporting applied research opportunities, scholarships, recruitment of faculty, capital improvements to renovate classrooms, computer labs, offices and common areas in Fletcher Hall on UTC's campus, according to Kathleen Rollins, executive director of the Gary W. Rollins Foundation.
Chancellor Steve Angle said the gift serves as a milestone in UTC's history and its ability to serve Chattanooga and the region.
"This gift is not only unprecedented in its generosity to our University, it will be transformational in its impact," Angle said in a statement. "Almost without exception, every great University has an outstanding college of business, and the Rollins' gift will enable us to raise the bar for success higher than ever before. Their commitment to UTC will mean state-of-the-art facilities for students and faculty, and applied research opportunities that will challenge students and better prepare them to succeed."
Robert Dooley, dean of the College of Business, echoed Gary Rollins' desire for the college to become a national leader.
"This gift will allow us to attain our vision of becoming a national model for excellence in business education. As the business world continues to change, we must prepare our students to be leaders and problem solvers," Dooley said in a statement. "The Rollins' investment will allow us to attract and retain outstanding faculty, support business research and develop the business leaders of the future."
The UT Board of Trustees unanimously approved the renaming of the college Friday at it's annual meeting.
Contact staff writer Meghan Mangrum at email@example.com or 423-757-6592. Follow her on Twitter @memangrum.