Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

St. Petersburg's Bill Hough honored with dedication of University of Florida's Hough Hall

St. Petersburg investment banker Bill Hough was not only a member of the University of Florida's first master's of business administration class in 1948, he reckons he received the first MBA from the university.

"There were only two in our graduating class, and I came first in the alphabet, so I got my diploma half a second before my partner," he said.

Sixty-two years later, the ties binding Alumnus No. 1 and his school will be even stronger.

Hough, 83, will be in Gainesville today for the dedication of Hough Hall, a new $23 million home for the graduate business school.

Hough donated $30 million to UF in 2007, the largest private gift it ever received. Most of the donation was earmarked for an endowment; about $5 million went to Hough Hall.

Long known in business and civic circles in St. Petersburg, Hough recently talked with the St. Petersburg Times about his history, the current economy, and the future business climate.

What makes your connection with UF special?

I was in the (U.S. Navy's officer training program) in World War II and finished my degree at Miami University in Ohio. When I was discharged from the Navy, I went to the University of Florida for a master's of business administration. I had grown up in Florida (in St. Petersburg) so it was natural I would want to go there.

I've had a successful business career in the municipal bond business, and I was very grateful to the university and wanted to give back. I really do think my education at the University of Florida was responsible for the success of my business career.

What are you going to speak about 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.

I also think that the state of Florida cannot afford to continue subsidizing all of these universities without finding ways to economize. And one way to economize is to go to school for only three years and graduate (by taking) more hours every year or every semester.

You've seen this region go through numerous economic ups and downs. With the current slump, do you see a gradual recovery or are you in the camp predicting a double-dip recession?

I think we're going to be flat for quite a while. I don't anticipate a lot of growth. In Pinellas County … we're pretty well filled out. We're overbuilt. I'm very much against the stimulus. I think they were stimulating the wrong things: housing and the auto industry. We've got too many cars and too many houses now. We've been guilty of over-consumption.

What would you have done instead of the stimulus plan?

I'm of the Hayek Austrian school of economics. This school of economics does not like to see government intervention, counter-cyclical intervention, which causes a lot of unintended consequences. We have an overbuilt society and too much debt. So I think the proper way to correct it would be to let it fall and not try to hold it up like the government is trying to hold it up. Like it's trying to hold the price of houses up. They will find their own level through supply and demand.

St. Petersburg's Bill Hough honored with dedication of University of Florida's Hough Hall 09/07/10 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 7, 2010 8:27pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Southwest Airlines to offer flights from Tampa to San Diego

    Airlines

    TAMPA — Southwest Airlines will offer new nonstop service from Tampa International Airport to San Diego International Airport beginning Jan. 8, 2018.

    Southwest Airlines is planning to launch service from Tampa to San Diego.
[Times file photo]
  2. The greatest coaches never to win it all

    College

    As foregone conclusions go, some things are approaching the death-and-taxes stratosphere: summer humidity in Florida, a Kardashian seeking attention, and Mike Martin coming up short in Omaha.

    Florida State coach Mike Martin walks to the mound to talk to pitcher Cole Sands during the second inning of the team's NCAA College World Series baseball game against LSU Wednesday in Omaha, Neb. [AP photo]
  3. Tampa Bay homes values continue to rise along with sales prices

    Real Estate

    For the second month in a row, Tampa Bay had one of the highest year -over-year increases in home values in May, Zillow reported today.

    For the second month in a row, Tampa Bay had one of the highest year -over-year increases in home values in May, Zillow reported Thursday.
[Times file photo]
  4. Busy start has Florida Hospital Center Ice dreaming big

    Tourism

    WESLEY CHAPEL — Opening day brought 600 doctors, administrators and their families from Florida Hospital. Soon after that, the facility hosted its first junior league game and a collegiate showdown. A few weeks later, 200 kids, ages 4 to 9, participated in national Learn to Play Hockey Day.

    Alex Senushkin and his grandson, Styopa Kulshyn, 3, of Lakeland, skate at the Florida Hospital Center Ice rink in Wesley Chapel.
[CHARLIE KAIJO   |   Times]

  5. Charlie Crist calls for national day of civility

    Blogs

    WASHINGTON – A week after a gunman opened fire on a group of Republicans, Rep. Charlie Crist this morning called for the establishment of a national day of civility, saying “the need for action could not be more urgent.”

    A note from Rep. Charlie Crist