This month, the Haslam family has made a large financial gift to the Haslam College of Business at the University of Tennessee.
In a statement issued by the Haslam family, they stressed the importance of investing in UT students in order to support a better future.
“We are grateful for the opportunity to continue our commitment to the university through the Haslam College of Business and hope this gift will enrich the lives of students for generations to come,” the statement said.
“By investing in these students, we are building the future leaders, entrepreneurs and philanthropists of our community, state and country.”
The generous gift, amounting to $40 million dollars, will go broadly towards various initiatives in the College of Business, such as hiring faculty and improving learning environments. Some of the money will also go towards expanding pre-collegiate programming aimed at attracting high-potential students to the university.
Additionally, some of the money will go to undergraduate honors programming, although it is not known at this time which programs will receive the funds or how much will be allocated to them.
“There’s nothing ear-marked for the Global Leadership Scholars,” Dr. Mark A. Moon, director of the Greg and Lisa Smith Global Leadership Scholars program, said. “Other than it throws more money into the college as a whole.”
The GLS program is considered the official honors program of the business college and was established a decade ago by a similar gift from senior Walmart executive and UT alum Greg Smith.
The recent gift is a continuation of the Haslams’ long-standing relationship with the university. In 2014, a similar donation led to a decision to rename the college in their honor. That investment greatly helped expand the college, transforming it to a center for world-class education for business students.
“It also significantly increased the college’s ability to attract and retain high quality faculty by increasing our competitiveness vis a vis other top ranked business schools,” Stephen L. Mangum, who serves as the dean of the college, said.
“Becoming a named business school has in and of itself contributed to the school’s standing among major business schools around the country.”
A feature of the gift is that it encourages other philanthropists in the community to give through matching, where their contributions are matched by the Haslam family. This effectively doubles the impact of these other donations.
“This feature of the gift agreement invites other donors to consider contributions to these same initiatives, knowing that the impact of their donation will be leveraged and increased in impact by Haslam Family investments in these same areas,” Mangum said.
In total, the Haslam family has invested approximately $100 million in the university’s business program.