Georgia Southern University and BB&T Sign Agreement to Establish Eminent Scholar in Banking
Georgia Southern University and BB&T today signed an agreement to create the BB&T Executive in Residence, part of the state’s Eminent Scholar Program. BB&T has donated $500,000 and the state of Georgia matched the funds during the 2012 legislative session.
The Eminent Scholar Program is designed to bring top faculty to University System of Georgia institutions. This is the first eminent scholar to be funded by the program since 2009.
“We are extremely grateful to BB&T, the University System of Georgia Board of Regents, Governor Nathan Deal, and our local legislative delegation for supporting the funding of this very important position,” said Georgia Southern President Brooks Keel, Ph.D. “Given the banking climate in our state and country, this position will play a major role in providing guidance on banking policy.” Keel added this is a perfect example of a public-private partnership that will help students meet the challenges of the real world.
“We appreciate BB&T making the commitment with this endowment and helping prepare Georgia Southern students for careers in banking,” said Sen. Jack Hill. “I believe this scholar program proves to the Board of Regents that industry wants to step up and help.”
In addition to the role’s focus on teaching, the position will serve as an independent and objective resource for legislators in addressing policy issues faced by rural community banks. One major area of focus will be in the area of regulatory compliance which places a highly regressive cost burden on smaller banks in Georgia. The new position will also expand the University’s services to rural-based community credit unions. Based upon existing relationships in Bulloch and Chatham counties, the University will provide strategic planning, marketing and pricing strategy support to area financial institutions.
“BB&T is committed to supporting education at all levels,” said John Lane, BB&T City Executive for Statesboro. “As part of our mission, BB&T strives to make the communities in which we work better places to live. The BB&T Chair of Banking is an investment in higher education that will yield graduates better prepared for a career in banking.”
In addition to its overall presence in Georgia, BB&T Corp. has had a major presence in Statesboro since acquiring First Banking Company of Southeast Georgia. The company was the holding company for the former First Bulloch Bank & Trust Co.
Georgia Southern University, a Carnegie Doctoral/Research University founded in 1906, offers more than 120 degree programs serving more than 20,500 students. Through eight colleges, the University offers bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs built on more than a century of academic achievement. In 2012, the University was named one of the Top 10 most popular universities in the country by U.S. News & World Report and is a top choice of Georgia’s HOPE scholars. Georgia Southern is recognized for its student-centered approach to education. Visit: www.georgiasouthern.edu.