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Robert Trigaux

At UF dedication of Hough Hall, Bill Hough tells students to work harder




Ever wonder what happened to St. Petersburg's retired municipal-bond-guru-turned-philanthropist Bill Hough and his $30 million gift to the University of Florida business school? Well, above is a photo of Hough Hall, which just opened on UF's Gainesville campus. Jeff Harrington, St. Petersburg Times business writer, interviewed Hough last week. Here's his Q&A with Hough as well as an earlier Gainesville Sun story on Hough's gift. (Hough Hall photo courtesy of Gainesville Sun.)

billhazelhoughUFberniemachen30milgift2007UFphotRayCarson.Hough was one of the first graduates of UF's business school (MBA Class of 1948) and went on to found William R. Hough & Co., one of the pioneer financial firms in creating a market for municipal bonds in Florida. After 40 years, Hough sold his company to RBC Dain Rauscher in 2003, vastly increasing Hough's already generous philanthropic potential. The 2007 photo (right) shows wife Hazel (left) and Bill Hough (center) with University of Florida president Bernie Machen during a ceremony honoring the Hough's gift of $30 million to the Warrington College of Business graduate programs. It was the largest private gift ever received by the University.

Hough is in Gainesville today for the dedication of Hough Hall, which cost $23 million home. Most of Hough's $30million donation was earmarked for an endowment; about $5 million went to Hough Hall.

In the Times Q&A, Hough offered a preview in his typical no-nonsense style of what he plans to say at the dedication:

"I'm going to talk about how (students) need to work harder and go to school more hours. That's the measure of success. I think internationally the Chinese and the Koreans are eating our lunch because they go to school longer in the day than we do and our kids are playing around."

About time somebody said it. Go get 'em, Bill!

-- Robert Trigaux, Times Business Columnist

[Last modified: Wednesday, September 8, 2010 12:54pm]


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