DBA Endowment to be Named for Program Founder, T. Grandon Gill
By Keith Morelli
TAMPA (October 15, 2018) -- Five people involved in the Muma College of Business Doctor of Business Administrative program have given a total of $150,000 to start an endowment that, once fully funded, will be named for the program's founder and current academic director, T. Grandon Gill.
The announcement was made last week during a DBA student luncheon in the Muma College of Business. Gill, who was in attendance, was not aware that his name was going to be placed on the endowment.
"The most gratifying professional experience in my life," he said, "is being involved in this program."
He thanked his team for making the DBA such a success.
"I'm getting way too much credit here," he said.
Muma College of Business Dean Moez Limayem made the announcement, which was followed by a lengthy standing ovation from more than 100 DBA students and graduates, faculty and staff who were in the room crowded around the door.
"Grandon," Limayem said, "you are the reason we all are here."
Limayem said that after taking the dean's job six years ago, he visited each faculty member, spending an hour in each one's office. He wanted to know their opinions on how to take the business college to the highest level.
Gill told him then of his idea to offer a DBA program for seasoned executives in the region and beyond and the two agreed. But coming up with the idea for the program and following through are two different things.
"The vision and the execution of that vision would not be possible without your leadership," Limayem said, turning to Gill. "Thank you for that leadership. It has fulfilled the dreams of all the participants of the DBA."
The plan, Limayem said, is to collectively raise $1 million for the full endowment.
The four donors – DBA students Joe Hodges, Jim Gregory and Pete Kirtland, along with the DBA's program director, Matt Mullarkey, collectively donated $100,000 and an anonymous donor pitched in the additional $50,000.
A good portion of the gift will go immediately to support student scholarships for the program. To contribute to the endowment, contact Gigi Laird Hawn at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 974-7124.