Businessman makes $1 million gift to LaGrange College
Atlanta businessman Jerry Wilkinson has donated $1 million to LaGrange College
to support its “From Promise to Prominence Campaign,” specifically the institution’s
Servant Scholars Program.
Wilkinson, a member of the college’s Board of Trustees, is the founder and chairman
of The Wilkinson Companies, a real estate management firm. Since 1984, he has directed
the operations and growth of the company and its subsidiaries, including properties
College President Dan McAlexander said he is honored and humbled by the donation.
“I am profoundly grateful for this generous, transformative gift in support of
our Servant Scholars Program,” he said. “The Wilkinson family has a deep passion
for and commitment to serving others. Their support will help this program become
a national model for how students at small liberal arts colleges can transform
the community in which they live through service, finding themselves transformed
as a result.”
In recognition and appreciation of Wilkinson’s generosity, the Servant Scholars
Program will now be known as the Wilkinson Family Servant Scholars Program, McAlexander
“The Wilkinson family is pleased to make this investment in LaGrange College,”
said Jerry Wilkinson.
“I have been coming to LaGrange as an investor and business operator for over
35 years and have found the city to be progressive, pro-business and welcoming.
A centerpiece of LaGrange is the college with its long history of serving the community
“The Servant Scholars Program provides a solid educational foundation as well
as fosters a passion to lead by serving others,” he said. “We, as a family, look
forward to building on the existing program to touch and change lives wherever
the student goes.
“This is an opportunity to give back from the blessings we have received.”
Dr. Jack Slay, Director of the Servant Scholars Program, said he is “overwhelmed
and beyond excited” by Wilkinson’s gift.
“This presents tremendous opportunity for the program and opportunities for the
24 Servant Scholars to lead and experience in ways we’ve not had before,” he said.
“I look forward to seeing where the Wilkinson family’s generosity leads the program
and the students.”
Scott Hawkins, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, said he has known Wilkinson
for years, and isn’t surprised at his friend’s gift.
“Jerry and his entire family have always been enthusiastic supporters of higher
education and service to the community,” he said. “I’m thrilled that he appreciates
the mission of this institution and wants to be a part of its growth.”
Wilkinson received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Duke University
and an MBA in finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
He also has done postgraduate work at the Harvard Business School. He earned his
Certified Commercial Investment Member designation, writes for national publications
and is a guest lecturer at various organizations and schools.
He was 2012 chairman of the National Apartment Association, and previously served
as president of the Georgia Apartment Association and the Atlanta Apartment Association.
He is one of only 17 members in the 75-year-old NAA Hall of Fame, and has served
on the board of directors of St. Joseph Hospital, the Duke University School of
Engineering and the Atlanta Community Food Bank.
Wilkinson currently serves on several boards including Apartment Life Inc., LaGrange
College, Grace Hill and the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta.
He and his wife, Beverly, have three daughters and eight grandchildren, and split
their time between Atlanta, Georgia, and Amelia Island, Florida.