University Of Findlay Receives Biggest Gift In Its History

A University of Findlay alumnus and his wife are giving the university $6 million for a new building to help students become well-rounded and ethical leaders.

The generous gift from Billy and Brenda Watterson will support building the new Watterson Center for Ethical Leadership on campus.

That is the largest single gift the university has ever received.

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 the new 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 last fall made a $1 million gift towards the renovation of EHSS academic spaces.