UAB alumnus Chad Hagwood is one of Birmingham’s top commercial real estate finance professionals, so it’s no surprise that he’s especially over-the-moon about this aspect of the new Collat School of Business building: Location, location, location.

“We’ve got a fantastic, state-of-the-art facility sitting at ‘Main and Main’ on UAB’s campus,” said Mr. Hagwood, Senior Vice President and Regional Manager for Capital One Multifamily Finance in Birmingham. “It’s so visible. Everyone who’s coming up and down University Boulevard will see it.”

The $37.5 million, 110,000-square-foot building -- which will house the Collat School of Business, the Bill L. Harbert Institute for Innovation and Entrepreneurship and the Regions Institute for Financial Education -- will sit on a prime location along the north side of University Boulevard between 12th and 13th Streets South. Construction, which began in late December, will take about 18 months.

To support the new building, Mr. Hagwood made a significant gift to name the Chad Thomas Hagwood Finance Lab, a 40-seat, advanced teaching space. The state-of-the-art lab is designed to provide finance and real estate finance students with hands-on experience performing business transactions. The lab will also house the Green and Gold Fund, an award-winning, student-managed investment portfolio.

“Students will have a world-class facility to learn and grow in,” Mr. Hagwood said. “And I think that’s a tremendous opportunity, not only for UAB, but for future generations of business leaders who are in their development stage.”

Mentoring and encouraging students motivates Mr. Hagwood’s generous investment in UAB. He also cites his own positive experience as a UAB student – he graduated in 1994 – when asked why he’s committed to giving back.

“Many of the professors and faculty and staff remain my very close friends,” he said. “They were not only inspirational to me at a transformational time of my life, as they are for many college students, but I really believe that I walked out of there with an advantage over my peers when I started my career. I want to see other students have that exact same opportunity that I had.”

In 2007, Mr. Hagwood established the Tommy and Anne Hagwood Endowed Scholarship in Real Estate in honor of his parents and to encourage more students to study and focus on real estate finance.

In 2015, Mr. Hagwood gave a gift to name a classroom in the new building in honor of Lary B. Cowart, PhD, an assistant professor in the Department of Accounting and Finance, and one of Hagwood’s trusted mentors.

“I have never met a more supportive person,” Dr. Cowart said at the time. “Chad has never said no to my request to mentor and counsel a UAB student on career matters.”

Mr. Hagwood, who has chaired Collat’s Finance Advisory Board, is the first Collat alumnus to give more than $1 million to the school.

“I think if people want to leave a lasting impact certainly giving to UAB Collat School of Business is something that bears a direct and positive fruit on their lives and the lives of other people,” Mr. Hagwood said. “And that’s a wonderful thing.”

To support Collat School of Business: David I. Allen, 205.996.5399;