Bill Hough speaks during dedication of Hough Hall
Bill Hough addresses the crowd during the Hough Hall dedication ceremony.

William R. Hough honored with dedication of new graduate studies facility

GAINESVILLE, Fla. – The dedication of William R. Hough Hall, the new home for graduate business studies at the Warrington College of Business Administration, took place Wednesday morning with a host of university leaders and distinguished guests present.

The building was made possible by the generous gift of William R. Hough (MBA ’48), who donated $30 million to the University of Florida in 2007.

“It’s somewhat overwhelming,” Mr. Hough said. “It’s really an outstanding building. I’m thrilled to have my name on it.”

Hough Hall provides the opportunity for all graduate studies programs to be housed under one roof. The Warrington College of Business Administration directs nine specialized master’s programs, six Ph.D. programs and the nationally-ranked MBA program.

“Hough Hall will raise the visibility of the Hough Graduate School of Business and provide a state-of-the-art learning facility for our 2,000-plus graduate students,” said John Kraft, Dean of the Warrington College of Business Administration.

Mr. Hough ascended to the top of the business world as founder of William R. Hough & Co., an investment bank based in St. Petersburg he guided for 38 years. The company was the No. 1 bond management enterprise in Florida, underwrote a significant portion of the state’s issues and played a major role in developing the state’s infrastructure. In 2004, the company merged with RBC Dain Rauscher Inc., where Mr. Hough continues to serve as a financial consultant.

Mr. Hough has remained involved with UF and the Warrington College of Business Administration serving on the College’s Business Advisory Council and the UF Foundation Board.

“My business career was very successful and it was due in large part to the education I received at the University of Florida,” Mr. Hough said. “I believe one should give back particularly if one is successful. I’m very grateful to the university and would like to give back to it.”

Mr. Hough has been a frequent contributor to the College’s development. In 2001, Mr. Hough donated $1 million to create the William R. Hough Program in Finance, a one-year, specialized master’s degree that serves as an alternative to the traditional MBA for those who have a specific interest in finance. Mr. Hough gave an additional $500,000 to strengthen the finance program in 2004 and again contributed $1 million in 2005 in response to UF President Bernie Machen’s Faculty Challenge.

“Bill Hough—whose generosity made Hough Hall possible—gives a lot of credit for his success as an investment banker to his graduate work here at the University of Florida,” UF President Bernie Machen said. “He’s not only responsible for the building. He also endowed the school, the Hough Graduate School of Business…Bill is the kind of champion and partner every university pines for.”

Hough Hall was constructed in 17 months and is one of the most technologically-advanced yet environmentally-sound structures on campus. Its design reflects a professional and corporate tone fitting for one of the nation’s top public business schools.

Among the features housed within the building’s 70,000 square feet are five state-of-the-art classrooms equipped with wireless Internet availability, career development and counseling centers, a capital markets lab with Bloomberg Terminals and flat-screen monitors and 17 student breakout rooms. The building is eco-friendly as well striving for a Gold level of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certified by the U.S. Green Building Council.

The structure was designed by Rowe Architects Inc. of Tampa and Sasaki Associates Inc. of Boston. Ajax Building Corporation of Tallahassee served as the project’s construction manager.