BB&T Funds Education, Research Program at Gatton College

Posted: May 17, 2016

BB&T has provided $2.5 million in support for the University of Kentucky’s Gatton College of Business and Economics, establishing the new BB&T Program for the Study of Capitalism, and funding a significant study area in the new, state-of-the-art Gatton College building scheduled to open in fall 2016.

Completing their gift this week, Heath W. Campbell, president of BB&T’s Kentucky region, presented the final payment to David W. Blackwell, dean of the Gatton College, at BB&T’s Lexington advisory board meeting.

The BB&T Program for the Study of Capitalism will provide financial support for research, education and outreach programs to engage both the academic community and the public in a sustained examination of capitalism from economic, historical, legal, and social perspectives. In addition to creating the BB&T Professorship for the Study of Capitalism, the program will support faculty, graduate students, and undergraduate coursework, enable the university to bring in relevant speakers, offer an academic conference and public forums, and provide research funding.

Gatton Professor of Economics John Garen will serve as the program’s director, and as the first BB&T Professor. His research focuses on the economics of incentive systems, economic organization, the role of government in the economy, and labor and human resource economics. His work has been published in many of the foremost academic journals, and he has produced numerous reports, manuscripts, and presentations to the public on the importance of economics to good public policy. Garen received his Ph.D. in economics from Ohio State University in 1982, served as chair of the UK Department of Economics from 2005-09, and during 2004-05 he was co-director of the Gatton College’s Center for Business and Economic Research.

“We are honored to partner with the University of Kentucky Gatton College of Business and Economics, and we believe BB&T’s strong presence and identity will have an immediate and lasting impact on both the university and the broader community,” Campbell said. “We are confident that our commitment to providing needed resources for this new facility will help students in their future endeavors and contribute to tomorrow’s business leaders for the region and across Kentucky.”

"We are grateful to partner with a successful, community-oriented company like BB&T to expand our capacity to prepare even more principled business leaders for the Commonwealth and beyond, who are ready to contribute immediately to their companies, and to compete in a changing world market," said Blackwell. “This support of our new building, combined with the new BB&T Program for the Study of Capitalism, will also allow us to produce influential research and support economic growth that has a direct, tangible influence on the lives of Kentucky citizens and people around the world.”