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BB&T grant creates leadership center at Appalachian State University

BOONE — BB&T has made a $1 million pledge to Appalachian State University’s Walker College of Business to establish the BB&T Student Leadership Center. The grant is payable over a five-year period.

The center will be modeled after the Leadership Development Program created by BB&T in the mid-1960s to train its future bank executives and senior managers.

“Appalachian and BB&T share a belief that leaders are not born but are trained and developed,” said Randy Edwards, dean of the Walker College of Business. “The BB&T Student Leadership Center will offer our business students invaluable leadership development programs outside of traditional classroom offerings.”

The center will foster leadership development through:

  • Assessment tools, such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and an online career assessment, which will help students examine their strengths and weaknesses and explore their personal and professional interests
  • Co-curricular leadership training, a proven component of BB&T’s leadership program, which includes guest lecturers, case studies and experiential learning exercises. BB&T will train individuals who will facilitate Leadership Development Program-based one-day seminars to junior-level business majors.
  • One-on-one executive mentoring, which will help students create a professional development plan that emphasizes integrity, trust and leadership. Students and their mentors will also participate in a one-day community service event together.
  • An annual leadership conference at Appalachian featuring nationally recognized leaders, who will discuss the traits and characteristics of successful leaders

“These programs will help our students better choose career paths and help the Walker College develop the state’s and nation’s future business leaders,” Edwards said.

“I’m so proud of this institution and the role that the BB&T Student Leadership Center will play in preparing our students for leadership roles in business and the community,” said Cantey Alexander, board member of the Walker College Business Advisory Council and the BB&T regional president for the state’s triad region. Alexander is also an Appalachian alumnus.

Mike Willett, BB&T regional president for the western region said, “The partnership with Appalachian State and BB&T is great for Boone, for the community at large and for students of the Walker College of Business.”

The grant also will support the college’s programs that help students create a career development plan and craft a resume as well as hone their interview skills through mock interviews each year. The center will also provide a dress for success seminar and a business etiquette series, which includes a dining etiquette class. Undergraduate students also are encouraged to participate in a corporate internship prior to graduation.

About BB&T
BB&T Corporation (NYSE: BBT) is one of the largest financial services holding companies in the U.S. with $159 billion in assets and market capitalization of $18.7 billion, as of June 30, 2011. Based in Winston-Salem, the company operates approximately 1,800 financial centers in 12 states and Washington, D.C., and offers a full range of consumer and commercial banking, securities brokerage, asset management, mortgage and insurance products and services. A Fortune 500 company, BB&T is consistently recognized for outstanding client satisfaction by J.D. Power and Associates, the U.S. Small Business Administration, Greenwich Associates and others. More information about BB&T and its full line of products and services is available at