Largest Gift in University of Findlay History Announced
A leadership gift of $6 million, generously made by Billy ‘96 and Brenda Watterson to the University of Findlay to support building the new Watterson Center for Ethical Leadership on campus, was announced Thursday, April 7, 2022.
The Watterson Center for Ethical Leadership will serve as a focal point on campus for the University’s College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences. The new building will provide an effective place for future students to become well-rounded, ethical leaders no matter what professional career path they choose.
Billy Watterson, CEO of Watterson Brands, is hopeful that this building will give students the opportunity to engage in difficult conversations about ethical leadership, equity, and inclusion, and inspire open dialogue and constructive debate. “We hope to create an army of ethical leaders,” Watterson stated. Along with this generous lead gift, more funds are needed to bring this Center to life. “We are asking for your support – we need you,” he said. “Together, we are going to build the Watterson Center for Ethical Leadership. Together, we will secure the future of the University of Findlay. And together, we will become a beacon of light and hope for the world.”
Billy earned a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Safety and Occupational Health Management from the University of Findlay in 1996, received the University’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2014, and now serves on the University’s Board of Trustees. He continues to be involved with the University and remains an active alumnus both in and out of the classroom by serving as a mentor and speaking at various University events. In 2013 Billy and Brenda established a scholarship fund for students in the Environment, Health, Safety, and Sustainability (EHSS) Program EHSS. More recently they created a fund for students who are involved in Campus Ministry to serve and study abroad, and recently made a $1 million gift towards the renovation of EHSS academic spaces.
“Billy and Brenda Watterson exemplify the traits of ethical leadership: gratitude, compassion, faith, service, and vision,” said University of Findlay President Katherine Fell, Ph.D. “I am honored to call them my friends and grateful for this transformative gift to the University of Findlay.”
“This initial leadership gift for the future Watterson Center for Ethical Leadership will have an immeasurable impact on future students of the University of Findlay as they learn to become innovative thinkers and effective leaders,” said Marcia Sloan Latta, Ed.D., vice president of University Advancement. “We are incredibly grateful for Billy and Brenda’s generosity and continued support of the University.”
To learn more about the University of Findlay’s College of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences, visit the Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences webpage.