by Colton Campbell

A local philanthropic organization has made a significant contribution to the construction of a new facility to house the Richards College of Business at the University of West Georgia.

An artist's depiction of the future Roy Richards Sr. HallCallaway Foundation, Inc., based in LaGrange, Georgia, has pledged $250,000 to the new building – to be named Roy Richards Sr. Hall after the late founder of Southwire Company. Richards Hall received funding for construction in this year’s legislative session, with an expected completion date in 2021.

“Callaway Foundation and its trustees are honored to be part of such a worthy endeavor as helping transform the lives of future business and community leaders at the University of West Georgia,” said Tripp Penn, the foundation’s president. “We know UWG is a vital part of our region and enjoy seeing students from our Troup County high schools choosing to Go West and having hundreds of UWG alumni in our Troup County community.”

The gift also ties in to the foundation’s mission to grow in a financially responsible manner in order to provide the resources necessary to actively pursue and respond to programs consistent with the foundation’s vision.

“This gift falls directly in line with our mission to support charitable religious and educational organizations in our region,” Penn said. “We know the Richards family, much like the Callaways, had a huge effect on our region, so it seemed appropriate to be able to support an entity that was going to support business students in the future in their honor.”

Callaway Foundation – which describes itself as a “progressive, compassionate team” – is primarily dedicated to enhancing the quality of life in west Georgia – specifically LaGrange and Troup County – by making the region a special place to live, work, learn and play.

Richards Hall will be situated near the intersection of Maple Street and University Drive, where Watson Hall – a former residence hall – once stood.

UWG recently held a groundbreaking for Richards Hall, with construction to begin in the fall. The current expected completion date is summer 2021.

The new building will be a state-of-the-art learning environment to build the workforce of tomorrow, with flexible teaching spaces, a professional business hub for experiential learning and common spaces that will foster a sense of community among stakeholders.

Included in the 67,000-square-foot facility will be a dozen classrooms ranging in sizes from a 24-seat seminar classroom to a 105-seat lecture hall; an expanded lab to serve management information systems students; and 13 collaborative learning spaces open for use by students, faculty and staff.

The Richards College of Business – which has been its name for the past 20 years – is unique to UWG because it partners with many local, regional and national businesses while offering international opportunities. The college has awarded more than 15,000 degrees in its 50 years of existence.

Penn said he hopes the foundation’s gift will spark other contributions to the building from community supporters who have benefited from the Richards College of Business’ presence in west Georgia.

“We hope this gift, like everything we do, enhances the quality of life for people in this region,” Penn said. “It would also be wonderful to see our gift continue the momentum to ensure this facility is perfectly suited to future students’ needs.”

Posted on November 18, 2019