North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in Greensboro has announced that will name its College of Business and Economics after Willie A. Deese. This is the first time that a person has been used in a college’s name at the university.
“I consider (the naming) an honor, but it’s not something I sought,” Deese said, noting his gift “represents an enduring commitment to supporting the College of Business and Economics steeped in the support, commitment and dedication I saw its leaders demonstrate to my generation, allowing us to participate in corporate America in a meaningful way. Just as the door of opportunity was opened to us, I have a responsibility to make sure those doors remain open in a contemporary way.”
Deese is a 1977 graduate of North Carolina A&T. He went on to earn an MBA at Western New England College. Deese had a 40-year career in the pharmaceutical industry, retiring as global president of manufacturing for Merck & Co.
Over the years, Deese has contributed nearly $10 million to the university, including a recent gift of $5 million to the College of Business and Economics. The money will be used for scholarships, department chairs, fellowships and program offerings. Earlier, an endowed scholarship fund was established in his name.
“Willie’s generosity to our alma mater has inspired a new generation of alumni to give back to this great institution and impact the lives of tomorrow’s leaders,” Chancellor Harold L. Martin Sr. said.