Gift from Wolseley honors Clemson alumnus David Peebles

September 25, 2008

CLEMSON, SC – September 25, 2008 – A $150,000 gift from Wolseley North America to Clemson University’s Michelin Career Center will honor Clemson alumnus David Peebles with the naming of the David Peebles Room in the Hendrix Student Center.

Peebles, who graduated from Clemson in 1949 with a degree in economics, was the second president of Ferguson Enterprises, an operating company in Wolseley’s North America Division. The David Peebles Room, located on the second floor of the Hendrix Student Center, is a multipurpose room used for meetings, student activities, receptions and special events.

“Ferguson is pleased to honor David Peebles by dedicating a room in his honor at Clemson University,” said John Stegeman, president and CEO of Ferguson. “David has left an immeasurable legacy to Ferguson, and it is only fitting that we honor him with a legacy to Clemson students. By investing in the future of students, there is no doubt that Clemson will produce more great business minds like David Peebles.”

Under Peebles’ leadership, Ferguson grew to be an industry leader by idealizing the American dream of owning and operating a business. Ferguson managers who started locations under their own names were entrepreneurs who structured their businesses based on local market demands. Peebles instituted the Management Training Program, which was designed to attract the best and brightest the work force had to offer. Peebles’ philosophy of aggressive expansion and his vision of what the company could become served Ferguson well during this period of growth. By 1982, when the company was acquired by Wolseley, Ferguson had 76 locations in 11 states. Today Ferguson operates just under 1,400 locations.

The gift will be used to maintain and enhance programs the Michelin Career Center offers to students and corporate recruiters. Wolseley also will be recognized for the gift with the naming of the Wolseley Interview Room in the Michelin Career Center, located on the third floor of the Hendrix Student Center.

“The Princeton Review rated our career services in the top 10 in the nation based on student surveys,” said Flora Riley, director of the Michelin Career Center. “This gift will enable us to continue to offer the high level of career services our students have come to expect. It will allow us to continue to serve as an effective liaison between students and the world of work. The career center serves as a bridge for companies to start the process of hiring Clemson students and recent graduates.”

Peebles, who lives in Ordinary, Va., has been honored at Clemson before with the Distinguished Service Award in 1984, the university’s highest alumni honor, given to recognize service to the community and the university. A scholarship endowment also bears his name: the Peebles Endowment Fund.

About Ferguson and Wolseley

Headquartered in Newport News, Va., Ferguson is the country’s largest wholesale distributor of plumbing supplies; pipes, valves and fittings; heating and cooling equipment; waterworks; mechanical and industrial; bathrooms and appliances; tools and safety equipment; and fire protection products. Ferguson has sales of $11 billion and 22,000 associates in nearly 1,400 service centers located in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Mexico and the Caribbean. 

Ferguson is part of Wolseley plc, the world’s largest specialist trade distributor of plumbing and heating products to professional contractors and a leading supplier of building materials in North America, the United Kingdom and Continental Europe. Group revenues for the year ended July 31, 2007, were approximately $31.6 billion. Wolseley has approximately 75,000 employees in 27 countries. Wolseley is listed on the London Stock Exchange (LSE: WOS) and is in the FTSE 100 index of listed companies.