The Collat School of Business at the University of Alabama at Birmingham unveiled a sign at a celebration this afternoon, marking its recent naming in honor of longtime supporters Charles and Patsy Collat.
University and business school leaders celebrated this afternoon with faculty, staff and students. The business school was officially named in September and is the first UAB school to carry the name of a benefactor. The Collats have donated $25 million in gifts and pledges to UAB. Theirs is the lead gift in The Campaign for UAB: Give Something, Change Everything, the university’s most ambitious fundraising campaign to date, with a $1 billion goal.
“Charles and Patsy have, for decades, set a tremendous example of philanthropy and civic leadership, and their collective gifts to UAB constitute our greatest philanthropic support from any donor ever,” said UAB President Ray L. Watts. “This support and service has helped establish ours as a premier business school in the Southeast and, beyond that, impacted every corner of this campus — from business to medicine to engineering to education to athletics.”
Eric Jack, Ph.D., dean of the business school, said it was an honor to see the school named for supporters who are also distinguished role models.“The Collat name represents leadership, innovation and entrepreneurship in business,” Jack said. “It also symbolizes a family that stands out as one that gives back to the community. We want every student in the Collat School of Business to follow this example and to graduate with the high charge of, not only changing the world, but also giving back to it.”
Students and faculty had the opportunity to meet Charles Collat and personally convey what his gift means to them, and to the future of the business school.
“It is such an honor for Patsy and me to be associated with a school of such diversity, one that cares so deeply about the success of its students,” said Charles Collat. “Today gives me a wonderful sense of pride, and I hope it will inspire others to support UAB, an institution that is so important to our city, our state and our nation.”