UF Receives Largest Donation in School’s HistoryBy Staff Reporter, UniversityHerald Reporter
Al Warrington, the trustee of The University of Florida, UF, and his wife Judy, have pledged $75 million to the Warrington College of Business Administration, making it the largest donation the school has ever received.
John Kraft, dean of the business college said that the gift will be used to develop and support faculty research, teaching initiatives and summer graduate students among others.
"Their unprecedented and relentless commitment to quality and excellence ... is a testimony and endorsement to not only the university but the Warrington College of Business," Tom Mitchell, vice president of Development and Alumni Affairs, said, Gainsville reports.
Al Warrington, 78, graduated from the College of Business Administration in 1958. He left Arthur Andersen & Co. accounting firm 1989 after working for more than 30 years. Warrington then established Sanifill, a Houston-based waste disposal company that merged with Waste Management Inc. in 1996.
Warrington is a member of the UF Foundation, and has served on the UF Board of Trustees since its creation in 2001.
"We challenged ourselves to think big and concluded our greatest impact would be to invest in our business college's faculty," Warrington, the co-founder of Houston-based Sanifill, said, Business Week reports.
With the latest donation, Al becomes UF's first $100 million donor. He created a $12 million fund for the college in 1996 and made a gift of $16 million to sponsor four professorships in the business college in 2009.
Warrington also encouraged the school to construct skyboxes at the Ben Hill Griffin Stadium. He also was one of the primary founders of the Fisher School of Accounting and one of the first supporters of the Machen Florida Opportunity Scholars program.
Al and Judy Warrington have now joined the list of business tycoons who have made multi-million dollar gifts to help higher education institutions. Others include Citadel Chief Executive Officer Ken Griffin, who pledged $150 million to Harvard College. Executives Stephen Ross and David G. Booth also donated over $300 million to the University of Michigan and the University of Chicago, respectively.
According to Businessweek, millionaires and billionaires donate to their alma maters for various reasons - to raise the profile of their schools, to get their name on the school or to receive tax write-offs.