This story was originally posted on November 29, 2018, on UGA Today.
The final building to become part of the Business Learning Community at the University of Georgia will be named for M. Douglas “Doug” Ivester of Atlanta.
The University System of Georgia Board of Regents approved naming the sixth building at the new home of UGA’s Terry College of Business in November. A large auditorium inside the new building also will bear Ivester’s name, all in recognition of his longstanding support of UGA, which includes a $7 million gift to the Terry College of Business.
“Doug Ivester’s outstanding generosity leaves a lasting legacy at the University of Georgia,” said President Jere W. Morehead. “His gift reflects a heartfelt commitment to supporting our students, faculty and staff and will strengthen the learning environment for generations of business students.”
The building and auditorium, to be named M. Douglas Ivester Hall and M. Douglas Ivester Auditorium, are located at the corner of Baxter and Lumpkin streets. The building will house undergraduate classrooms along with staff and administrative offices.
“We are so grateful to Doug for his investment in the college’s future, as well as the time he gives every semester to the Deer Run Fellows Program,” said Dean Benjamin C. Ayers. “We are excited for completion of the final phase of construction in the spring. In these facilities, thousands of Terry students will be educated each year, and virtually every undergraduate will take classes in Ivester Hall. Those students will go on to serve as leaders in their businesses and their communities.”
Ivester graduated from UGA in 1969 with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and now presides over Deer Run Investments LLC. He was elected chairman of the board and CEO of The Coca-Cola Co. in 1997, a company he joined in 1979. In 1981 he became the youngest vice president in the company’s history. Two years later he was named senior vice president of finance, and in 1985 he became chief financial officer at the age of 37. He retired from Coca-Cola in 2000. He began his career at Ernst & Ernst, eventually leading its audit team for The Coca-Cola Co.
Each year, Doug and Kay Ivester host Terry College’s Deer Run Fellows at their 25,000-acre property in Leary, Georgia. In the fellowship program, Terry faculty and staff choose eight students to take a leadership class that centers around a unique weekend immersion experience on leadership and life with select industry experts.
“The University of Georgia is so important to our state and our region, and the university elevates everyone who experiences its passion for learning. My time at UGA was foundational for me. Without the experiences I had at UGA, I don’t think I could have ever joined organizations like Ernst & Young or Coca-Cola. UGA provides students with the skills necessary to chase their dreams. I will forever be grateful to the university and can never adequately express my gratitude,” Ivester said.
Ivester is an emeritus trustee of the University of Georgia Foundation. He is on the board of directors at SunTrust Banks, is a trustee of Brenau University and a director of the Melvin Douglas & Victoria Kay Ivester Foundation. He is a former board chairman of the Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center, an emeritus trustee of Emory University and a former board member of the Woodruff Arts Center. He is a former board member of numerous corporations, including The Coca-Cola Co., S1 Corp., Coca-Cola Enterprises, where he was chairman of the board, as well as a number of community organizations.
Earlier this year, the other Phase III building at the Business Learning Community was named for Sanford and Barbara Orkin of Atlanta. UGA broke ground on Phase III in October 2017 after the dedication of Amos Hall, Benson Hall and Moore-Rooker Hall, which comprise Phase II. Terry College faculty and staff moved into the Phase II buildings in fall 2017. Phase I (Correll Hall) opened in 2015 and was funded entirely by private contributions.
Phase II and III are the result of a public-private partnership between the state of Georgia and hundreds of donors. The Business Learning Community represents one of the largest capital projects in the university system’s history.