TROY, Ala.—With the support of a $3.6 million gift from Dr. Manuel H. “Manley” Johnson, BB&T and the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, Troy University will form a new center for policy research designed to advance the understanding of economic freedom.
The Manuel H. Johnson Center for Political Economy will promote teaching and research efforts that examine the role economic freedom plays in economic development and human prosperity. The Center will be part of the University’s Sorrell College of Business and will be housed inside Bibb Graves Hall, which is currently undergoing extensive restoration and expansion. Dr. Scott Beaulier has been named executive director of the center.
Members of the University leadership and the Troy University Foundation Board of Directors officially received the gift Saturday in a ceremony at the Troy Campus.
Dr. Johnson, a TROY alumnus and former vice chairman of the Federal Reserve System board of governors, said he envisions the center becoming a leading voice in economic scholarship and research.
“The creation of this center allows me to invest in economic education and Troy University, both of which played very important roles in my life.” Dr. Johnson said. “My vision is that this center will become an important source of academic excellence that furthers the transformation of Troy University in the areas of business, economics and economic development. With the University’s global focus, this center is well positioned to become a leader in the arena of international economic scholarship.”
TROY Chancellor Jack Hawkins, Jr. said the new center is an important milestone for the University’s college of business.
“The research, insight and teaching provided by the Manuel H. Johnson Center will strengthen our business program and put TROY at the forefront of economic study,” Dr. Hawkins said. “We are grateful for the support provided by Dr. Johnson, BB&T and the Koch Foundation.”
Richard Fink, president of the Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation, praised Dr. Johnson for his vision and leadership in promoting free enterprise.
“Manley and Mary Johnson are as dedicated to their hometown of Troy as they are to the economic health of our country,” Fink said. “When we were colleagues at George Mason University, it became obvious that Manley has a deeply rooted understanding of how the free enterprise system is the foundation of America's prosperity. The Johnson Center at TROY—with its focus on sound economic education and research—will advance our understanding of economic freedom and how it generates prosperity for the overwhelming majority of citizens.”
BB&T officials said they look forward to the successes the new center will provide for TROY’s business students in the years to come.
“At BB&T we believe that education is a valuable and important resource,” said Jodie Hughes, community banking president for south Alabama. “Its purpose is to provide us a direction for developing our minds and equipping us to deal with life. It is with pleasure that we make this contribution to reinforce the educational offerings of Troy University and the Sorrell College of Business.”