Clemson to use BB&T $3.5 million gift to expand capitalism institute

October 2, 2008

CLEMSON, SC – October 2, 2008 –  Clemson University will use a $3.5 million gift from BB&T Corp. to expand its university-based research and teaching center dedicated to exploring the moral foundations of capitalism.

The Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism in the College of Business and Behavioral Science was established in 2005 with $1.4 million from BB&T Charitable Foundation. With this additional gift, to be paid over 10 years, the institute will expand academic and professional offerings for students, faculty and the general public on the moral, political and economic foundations of a free society.

“We are very pleased that BB&T sees value in helping Clemson University expand its academic programs,” said Brad Thompson, director of the Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism. “The readings, seminars and lectures all provide another layer of academic opportunities for the students.”

Thompson said the institute’s various programs are for students, faculty and the public.

Claude Lilly, dean of the College of Business and Behavioral Science at Clemson, is encouraged by the gift and the attention the college is receiving.
“John Allison and BB&T are showing great trust in our ability to educate and prepare students,” Lilly said. “We are pleased that they want to enhance the academic and professional relationship with the college and the university.”

Clemson students will be able to interact with students and faculty in a consortium of schools that include the University of Virginia, the University of Kentucky, West Virginia University, Duke University, George Mason University, UNC-Chapel Hill and the University of Florida. 

“It is important to us that any program we support meets the highest academic standards and encourages students to hear all points of view,” said John A. Allison, chairman and CEO of BB&T Corp. There is overwhelming evidence that capitalism produces a higher economic standard of living, which is why there needs to be a deeper understanding of the morality of capitalism and its causal relationship to economic well-being. BB&T is proud to partner with the Clemson Institute for the Study of Capitalism in this important endeavor.”

For information on the Institute for the Study of Capitalism at Clemson, visit


Editor’s Note: John Allison will speak at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 2, at the Westin Poinsett Hotel in downtown Greenville as part of an annual presentation sponsored by The Clemson Alliance for Ethics, Enterprise and Entrepreneurship. Clemson officials will recognize him for the BB&T gift following his presentation.