The University of Louisville College of Business recently received a $1 million gift from prominent local businessman and UofL alumni Lowry Watkins Jr. to create an endowed chair in the finance department.
The Lowry Watkins Jr. Endowed Chair in Finance enables the college to focus on financial research and is another indication of the college’s rise in the national rankings, at both the undergraduate and graduate level, say university administrators.
“Donors like Lowry Watkins demonstrate how much a University of Louisville education means to them by giving back to their alma mater,” said UofL President James Ramsey. “We’re very grateful for Mr. Watkins’s generosity, which will allow our College of Business to continue to raise its profile even higher.”
Watkins says his gift is simply a gesture of gratitude designed to foster continued success.
“I have a family background in banking – my father was a mortgage broker and my grandfather co-founded and ran the largest bank in Kentucky,” Watkins said. “But it was my time as a finance major here at the UofL business school that put me on my path to a greater understanding of money and finance. I’m glad to see the school growing and the program improving. This is important. I’ll do all I can to help the University of Louisville. I’m not done.”
“We would like to thank Lowry Watkins Jr. for his continued generosity,” said Interim College of Business Dean Rohan Christie David. “This type of unwavering commitment is one of the reasons we continue to rise in the national rankings every year. The gift helps us address two significant areas – research and increasing our number of endowed chairs – which are both important factors considered by agencies that rank the country’s best business schools.”