Recognizing a “transformational” gift of $40 million, Auburn University has renamed its business school the Raymond J. Harbert College of Business.
“We are proud to forevermore carry the Harbert name as a symbol of quality, hard work, entrepreneurial spirit, dedication and the Auburn Spirit, ” said College of Business Dean Bill Hardgrave.
A 1982 graduate of Auburn, Harbert is now chairman and CEO of Harbert Management Corp., an investment firm founded in Birmingham in 1993. Harbert also serves as president pro tem of the Auburn University Board of Trustees. Harbert said he hopes the gift will help Auburn “become the best it can be.”
Auburn plans to use the gift for eminent scholars and endowed chairs, for a new Harbert Investments Center for research on securities and wealth creation, and for a new doctoral program in finance.
In announcing the gift, Auburn notes that of the top 50 business schools on the annual U.S. News & World Report rankings, 42 are named for benefactors. Auburn ranks 27th on that list.
Auburn’s business school, initiated in 1967 with a few hundred students, now has some 4, 000 undergraduate and graduate students with 75 tenure-track faculty.
Text by Nedra Bloom