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Wake Forest's Calloway School launches BB&T Center for the Study of Capitalism

April 25, 2008

Wake Forest University’s Calloway School of Business and Accountancy has announced the launch of a major new academic initiative, the BB&T Center for the Study of Capitalism.  The program is funded by a $2 million grant over 10 years from the BB&T Foundation.

Page West, a professor of business in the Calloway School who authored the grant proposal, said the objective of the new center is to engage faculty, undergraduate and graduate students, as well as the public, in a serious and sustained examination of the philosophical foundations of capitalism.

“We subscribe to the challenge our school’s namesake, Wayne Calloway, articulated: ‘results with integrity’ and to the goal of having education serve mankind, as embodied in Wake Forest’s motto, ‘Pro Humanitate.’” West said.  “This new program is intended to establish a national model for the rigorous and imaginative analysis of the intersection between capitalism-based business organizations and the public good.”

Components of the program include an advanced undergraduate business course on the moral and intellectual underpinnings of capitalism and the moral obligations of institutions in a free society; an annual speaker series on capitalism; a seminar on capitalism, free enterprise and society open to all undergraduate students; a faculty seminar exploring philosophical perspectives on capitalism; an annual award for student research; and new faculty teaching and research support.

Jack Wilkerson, dean of the Calloway School, said he envisions the new center providing at least three significant benefits for undergraduate students.

“First, it will require that they think more deeply about the workings of the economic system within which U.S. business activity actually occurs,” Wilkerson said. “Second, it will provoke them to consider the moral and philosophical underpinnings and implications of our economic system.  And third, it will allow them to actually witness and be a part of rich, genuine intellectual discourse and debate.  Taken together, these benefits mean that graduates who have an opportunity to participate in this center’s programs will leave Wake Forest with enhanced intellectual development and with an enhanced knowledge base.”

The program establishes a university-wide faculty advisory board, a center director and a BB&T Fellowship in Capitalism and Free Enterprise.  Wilkerson has appointed West as the center’s first director and BB&T Fellow.

“I am honored to be entrusted with guiding development of this center from its inception to what I believe will become a vital and integral role in helping the Calloway School and other departments at Wake Forest advance a better understanding of how our system of capitalism impacts every aspect of our lives,” West said.

 “As a large business, subject to all types of regulations and constantly striving to meet the needs of our customers, BB&T has a significant interest in academic teachings that explore and help students understand the moral foundations of a free society and free markets,” said BB&T Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John Allison. “The Calloway School of Business and Accountancy’s new BB&T Center for the Study of Capitalism is an excellent place to achieve this end.”

U.S. News and World Report ranks Wake Forest 30th among national universities in its 2008 edition of “America’s Best Colleges.  BusinessWeek magazine ranks the Calloway School 21st among the nation’s top undergraduate business schools, and U.S. News & World Report magazine ranks the Calloway School 27th on its list.  Since the Calloway School began offering a Master of Science in Accounting degree in 1997, its graduates have achieved the top national ranking six times and placed second in the nation three times for the highest percentage of candidates passing all four sections of the Certified Public Accountant exam on their first attempt.  For more information about the Calloway School, visit

BB&T Corporation, headquartered in Winston-Salem, is the nation’s 14th largest financial holding company with more than 29,000 employees and 1,500 banking locations in 11 states and Washington, D.C.  For more information, visit

Press Contacts:

Eric Frazier
(336) 758-5237

Kevin Cox
(336) 758-5237

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