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Special B-Note Video: Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business

October 22, 2020

Brian O'Rourke gives special video messaging thanking Billy and Ann Powers for their gift to Clemson

Greetings, fellow Tigers!

This week I am reflecting on a truly special day for Clemson University. Wilbur O. “Billy” and Ann Powers have forever made their mark on our University with a gift of $60 million, and it was an immense honor to be a part of this history-making day for Clemson when these longtime Clemson supporters made the special announcement on Friday.

The newly named Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business is housed in a new state-of-the-art building that opened this semester. With the college’s signature programs and the new, best-in-class facility, our students are experiencing first-hand the overwhelming impact of Billy and Ann’s generosity. The Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business is not only a gateway to Clemson University, but it also serves as a catalyst for commerce across South Carolina and enterprise around the world. Click here to read more about how this gift from Billy and Ann will elevate business at Clemson University.

Clemson leadership stands with Billy and Ann Powers in the newly named building

The Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business is a dual-tower, five-story structure standing across from Sikes Hall in the heart of campus. One of those towers bears the name of Chandler L. Burns ’15. The namesake is Billy Powers’ grandson, who sadly passed away in 2016. Billy and Ann’s decision to name the tower after him came from the desire to indelibly link Chandler’s memory with Clemson’s campus. I cannot think of a more fitting tribute to Chandler’s strong character and fierce determination. You can read a special tribute to Chandler in the latest ClemsonWorld.

Family gathers for unveiling of Chandler L. Burns wall

Because of Billy and Ann’s philanthropic spirits, Wilbur O. and Ann Powers College of Business will prosper into one of the country’s best institutions for educating the next generation of global business leaders. The gift also positions the College to attract leading faculty through endowed professorships, as well as provide significant merit and need-based financial aid to students in order to grow future generations of South Carolina business leaders.

Billy and Ann gave this incredible gift to make difference in the lives of Clemson’s students – a true reflection of their business insight and personal values. Not since Thomas and Anna Clemson founded our University has a gift been more transformational. The significance of this moment will forever be written into the history of Clemson University. Having known Billy and Ann for many years, their generosity today comes as no surprise. They embody the very best of what it means to be a Clemson Tiger, and this remarkable gift only heightens their important roles within the Clemson Family. Please read more about Billy and Ann’s lives and acts of philanthropy here.

Billy and Ann Powers stand beside new signage for the College of Business

B – inspired!

Billy and Ann’s commitment to Clemson serves as an example to all of us. As we all strive to follow in the philanthropic footsteps of those who came before us, remember these important words from Billy: “You haven’t really helped anybody until you do things for people who can’t do something back in return. And that is very rewarding when you can do that.”

Again, I say thank you, Billy and Ann, for your philanthropic spirit that is making an impact on Clemson students today, tomorrow and forever. I speak for the entire Clemson Family when I express how grateful we are for your kindness, generosity and commitment.

Go Tigers! Beat Syracuse!

Brian O’Rourke