Make us your home page

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

  1. Shakeup on Adam Putnam campaign


    In a sign of unsteadiness for what  had  looked like a strong-out-of-the-gate Adam Putnam campaign, the Republican frontrunner suddenly fired his campaign manager and political director. Hard-charging Campaign manager Kristin Davis and political director Jared Small were two of the three outsiders to join …

    Putnam campaigning in Destin the other day as part of his 22-city bus tour
  2. Rays let early lead get away again in loss to Angels (w/video)

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — As pleased as the Rays were to win consecutive series against the contending Red Sox, Indians and Yankees and to get briefly back over .500, there was a lot of talk in the clubhouse before Monday's game against the Angels that it was time to do better.

    Tampa Bay Rays third base coach Charlie Montoyo (25) high fives designated hitter Corey Dickerson (10) as he rounds third on his lead off home run in the first inning of the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the Los Angeles Angels at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Monday, May 22, 2017.
  3. Tampa man arrested for killing man in his USF-area home


    TAMPA — A Tampa man was arrested Monday in the death of man found killed at a home in the University of South Florida area last week, according to the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office.

    Kadeem Dareem Archibald, 26, was arrested Monday on a  second degree murder charge in the University Area killing of Khando Kerr. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
  4. Report: Trump asked intel chiefs to push back against FBI collusion probe after Comey revealed its existence


    President Donald Trump asked two of the nation's top intelligence officials in March to help him push back against an FBI investigation into possible coordination between his campaign and the Russian government, the Washington Post reports, citing current and former officials.

    From  left, CIA Director Mike Pompeo; Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats; and National Security Agency Director Adm. Michael Rogers take their seats on Capitol Hill on May 11 before  testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on major threats facing the U.S. [Associated Press]
  5. For Gov. Rick Scott, 'fighting' could mean vetoing entire state budget

    State Roundup

    Every day, Gov. Rick Scott is getting a lot of advice.

    The last time a Florida governor vetoed the education portion of the state budget was in 1983. Gov. Bob Graham blasted fellow Democrats for their “willing acceptance of mediocrity.”