Clemson University has received a $60 million gift from philanthropists Wilbur O. “Billy” and Ann Powers for the university’s college of business, the school announced Friday, Oct. 16.
The donation is the largest-ever in Clemson’s history and is one of the largest given to a public institution in the state.
“You always want to do the very best you are able to do, and if you plan well, you can accomplish more. This gift is about helping Clemson students grow and be the best they can be,” Billy Powers said in a release.
The Powers’ gift will also go toward providing need-based scholarship and financial aid. The now-named Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business will feature internships and study abroad programs, industry partnerships, marketplace modeling and hands-on laboratories.
“This building and this gift are game changers for Clemson and the Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business,” said the university’s president, Jim Clements. “Billy and Ann are longtime supporters of the University, and, once again, they have stepped up for Clemson. We are so grateful for their generosity and vision. This is an incredible milestone for Clemson, not only because it is the largest gift in our history but also because it will truly transform the way we teach business at Clemson.”
Clements said that the gift would allow the school to grow to fit the educational needs of the next generation.
As part of the Powers’ gift, part of the new school of business building will be named in honor of their grandson, Chandler Burns, who graduated from Clemson in 2015. Burns died in 2016 following an illness. The building features 303 rooms, seating for 1,660 students and distance learning capabilities.
“The generous support from the Powers family enables critical faculty research, professorships and fellowships; provides needed student scholarships; and enhances the prestige of our business degrees for years to come,” said Wendy York, dean of the Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business.
“The sun is rising on a new era of business education at Clemson University,” she said.