The largest philanthropic gift in the history of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga has been made to the University’s College of Business by Gary W. Rollins and Kathleen Rollins of Atlanta, according to a news release from the school.

This historic $40 million gift also marks the first college to be named at UTC.

The University of Tennessee Board of Trustees, at its annual meeting in Knoxville today, voted unanimously to approve naming the UTC College of Business the Gary W. Rollins College of Business.

A 1967 UTC graduate with a B.S. degree in business, Rollins is the Vice Chairman and CEO of Rollins, Inc., a New York Stock Exchange corporation with numerous holdings including Orkin, the world’s largest pest control company. In supporting his alma mater, he feels that UTC’s College of Business has the credentials and accomplishments to become recognized as a national leader in business education and applied business research.

“The UTC College of Business, under Dean Robert Dooley’s leadership and fully supported by Chancellor Steve Angle, has a history of success built around community involvement that offers students hands-on experience and, ultimately, a stronger opportunity to be job-ready upon graduation,” Rollins said.

“At the same time, the College of Business has been a driving force in helping the Chattanooga region’s economic growth which, in turn, has made southeastern Tennessee one of the nation’s most desirable destinations.”

Kathleen Rollins, executive director of the Gary W. Rollins Foundation, said uses of the gift under consideration include creating and supporting applied research opportunities, scholarships, recruitment of faculty, capital improvements to renovate classrooms, computer labs, offices and common areas in Fletcher Hall, home of the College of Business at UTC.

Angle said the gift serves as a milestone in the history of the University and its ability to serve Chattanooga and the region.

“This gift is not only unprecedented in its generosity to our University, it will be transformational in its impact,” Angle said. “Almost without exception, every great University has an outstanding college of business, and the Rollins’ gift will enable us to raise the bar for success higher than ever before. Their commitment to UTC will mean state-of-the-art facilities for students and faculty, and applied research opportunities that will challenge students and better prepare them to succeed.

“As our students and our graduates achieve even greater success, they will be the conduits through which UTC makes its impact throughout our city, our region, the state of Tennessee and beyond. And having a college named for one of its most successful alumni serves as great inspiration for all of us at UTC, especially our students.

Dooley said the gift also comes at an opportune time.

“We want to offer our heartfelt thanks to Gary and Kathleen Rollins for this incredibly generous investment,” said Dean Dooley. “Gary Rollins has a long history of business excellence based on hard work, employee development and an understanding that people and the relationships they build are a company’s most valuable assets.

“This gift will allow us to attain our vision of becoming a national model for excellence in business education. As the business world continues to change, we must prepare our students to be leaders and problem solvers. The Rollins’ investment will allow us to attract and retain outstanding faculty, support business research and develop the business leaders of the future.”