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Clemson names new building after couple donates $60M to business college

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The $60 million donation toward Clemson's College of Business is the largest in the school's history. (Photo/Ross Norton)Clemson University has received a $60 million gift for the College of Business from longtime philanthropists Wilbur O. “Billy” and Ann Powers.

The gift was announced during a university board of trustees meeting last week.

The gift, the largest in Clemson’s history and one of the largest to a public institution in South Carolina, will support President Jim Clements and Dean Wendy York's vision to grow the now-named Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business into a nationally recognized leader in business education, according to an announcement after the meeting.

In addition to providing funding for need-based scholarships and financial assistance for those students who need it most, the gift from the Powers family will propel many of the college’s signature programs, according to the news release.

“With internships and study abroad programs, collaborative teamwork, industry partnerships, marketplace modeling, hands-on laboratories, experiential learning, interdisciplinary study and a business component to nearly all majors, the Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business is positioned to make a significant impact for generations of Clemson students and South Carolina industries,” the news release said. “It also serves as a major research hub for world-class scholars.”

A ticker tape streams past a Clemson student walking near the new building at night. (Photo/Ross Norton)The new $87.5 million building that houses the college is occupied for the first time this semester. With more than 176,000 square feet, the five-story, dual-tower structure includes 303 rooms, 1,660 classroom seats, a 90-foot-high atrium that provides natural light for every office, and distance-learning capabilities in every room.

It is located across S.C. Highway 93 from Sikes Hall and Bowman Field, on the approximate site of the iconic Clemson House, which was razed in 2017.

“You always want to do the very best you are able to do, and if you plan well, you can accomplish more,” Billy Powers said in the news release. “This gift is about helping students grow and be the best they can be.”

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