Ernest Scheller, a 1952 industrial management graduate from Georgia Institute of Technology - Georgia Tech - in Atlanta, has pledged $50m to name the business school there. Once all funds have been given to the school in 2013, the gift will be the largest ever cash gift to the institution. The plan is for the $50m to be matched dollar-for-dollar by other benefactors.
This is not the first time the business school, now called the Ernest Scheller Jr. College of Business, has changed its name. In 2004 the school had to remove the Dupree name from its headed notepaper as would-be benefactor Tom Dupree admitted that he was unable to meet the $25m pledge he had made to the business school in 1996.
Some of the Scheller money has already been used to improve the PhD programme and increase the size of the faculty. Nine endowed faculty chairs and professorships, 37 undergraduate scholarships and six graduate fellowships are also part of the package, as well as the dean’s discretionary endowment.
The endowment will help the school move to the next level, says dean Steve Salbu. “This is a transformational gift that will allow the College - which has gone from being a very strong regional player to being a competitor within the big leagues of business schools - to take and firmly keep our place in that competitive arena.”
Mr Scheller is chairman emeritus of Silberline Manufacturing, in Pennsylvania. which provides high-quality pigments to the motor industry and was founded by his father in the 1940s.