Florence philanthropist gives largest-ever donation to Clemson University

Pee Dee

FLORENCE, SC (WBTW) — A Florence philanthropist’s $60 million donation is a “game-changer” for Clemson University, according to its president.

“We are so grateful for their generosity and vision,” President Jim Clements said in a press release. “This is an incredible milestone for Clemson, not only because it is the largest gift in our history but also because it will truly transform the way we teach business at Clemson.”

Wilbur O. “Billy” and Ann Powers have donated $60 million to the university, the largest donation in the institution’s history, and one of the largest to a public institution in South Carolina. 

The donation will be used to fund need-based scholarships and financial assistance for students, and will advance other programs, according to a press release from the university. 

“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 press release reads. “It also serves as a major research hub for world-class scholars.”

The donation will go to the College of Business, which has been renamed the Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business. 

“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 release. “This gift is about helping Clemson students grow and be the best they can be.”

He received an honorary doctorate degree from the university in 2004.

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