Wells Fargo gifts advance growth for Collat School of Business and UAB Athletics

Gifts established a scholarship program for business students and support the new Football Operations building fund.
Written by: Katherine Shonesy
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business students giftCollat School of Business students selected for the Wells Fargo Scholars Program will benefit from scholarship funds to put toward tuition.The University of Alabama at Birmingham is advancing its commitment to serving students and the community with the donation of two gifts from Wells Fargo, the first of which has created the Wells Fargo Scholars Program within the Collat School of Business and another to support UAB Athletics.

Established through a $250,000 donation, the Wells Fargo Scholars Program will grow to support a total of five scholars each year. A selection committee made up of faculty and staff from Collat will select the scholars, and the most highly qualified students based on merit and financial need will receive the scholarship awards.

Eric Jack, Ph.D., dean of the Collat School of Business and Wells Fargo Endowed Chair in Business Administration, will oversee the scholarship program. Wells Fargo’s longstanding support and partnership with UAB dates back to 2004, when the Wells Fargo Endowed Chair position was created, and was appointed to Jack in 2013 when he became dean of the Collat School of Business.

“We are very grateful to Wells Fargo for this generous gift,” Jack said. “The company’s presence in the Birmingham area as a philanthropic organization is a great asset to our community, and we are very thankful that Wells Fargo has extended that spirit of giving back to UAB and the Collat School of Business. We know that we will be able to do great things with the support of such an important partner.”

To date, three students have been selected as Wells Fargo Scholars for the 2017-18 academic year. Jaleel McCarter, a junior information systems major, plans to use his degree to help organizations with cybersecurity issues. Joy Samarah, a freshman marketing major, wants to translate her studies to the fashion industry by using her marketing skills to connect with consumers and clients. Brianna Williams, a senior business management major with a concentration in human resources, aims to become a human resources director, helping employees to succeed and grow.

These students will each be able to put the scholarship funds toward their tuition, helping them to pay their own way through college.

football operations centerA second Wells Fargo gift is supporting the construction of the Football Operations Center. A second Wells Fargo gift, a $150,000 grant to UAB over a period of three years, is supporting the construction of the Football Operations Center. The UAB Department of Athletics broke ground for the new building in fall 2016.

“On behalf of the UAB Department of Athletics, we thank Wells Fargo for its continued support both of our institution and of athletics,” Director of Athletics Mark Ingram said. “Generous gifts like this continue to make an impact on the success of our student-athletes both athletically and academically. We strive to win championships at UAB and wouldn’t be able to do it without the unwavering support of Birmingham and the business leaders in the community.”

A community-based financial services company with 34 branches in the Birmingham area, Wells Fargo strives to strengthen communities by addressing local social, economic and environmental challenges.

“We believe in thoughtful and strategic giving here in Birmingham,” said Leigh Collier, Wells Fargo mid-South region president. “Supporting UAB is a long-term investment in the future of our city and will prepare students like Jaleel, Joy, Brianna and more than 19,000 UAB students just like them to become the leaders of tomorrow.”

The charitable gifts from Wells Fargo build on the forward momentum that both Collat and UAB Athletics have recently achieved toward accomplishing goals for growth in support of UAB students and the Birmingham community.

For more information about how to support the Collat School of Business, visit uab.edu/business or contact David I. Allen, senior director of Development, at 205-996-5399 or diallen@uab.edu.

For more information regarding support of UAB Athletics, contact Brad Hardekopf, associate athletic director for Development, at 205-996-5219 or hardebp@uab.edu.