College Of Business Administration To Be Named For Al Warrington
GAINESVILLE — It wasn’t all business as usual Friday (10/11) for the University of Florida College of Business Administration. Texas businessman Alfred C. Warrington IV announced he had made a gift commitment to the college that will result in a private endowment worth more than $11 million. University officials are planning to name the College of Business Administration in honor of Warrington.
A 1958 accounting graduate of the University of Florida, Warrington gave UF $3 million in cash to create the endowed fund. He has also committed a $2 million charitable trust and nearly all of the trust income for 10 years. With the $3.5 million state match for which these gifts will be eligible, the Warrington endowment becomes the largest cash gift ever received by the College of Business Administration. Ultimately, the trust remainder also will be eligible for state matching funds and will significantly increase the value of this gift.
In accepting the gift, UF President John Lombardi praised Warrington’s record of volunteer service on behalf of the university.
“Al Warrington’s extraordinary generosity will enable the University of Florida and its College of Business Administration to move ahead confidently into the next century. In light of Al’s 30 years of support and involvement with the college and the university, it is most fitting that we now name the college in his honor,” Lombardi said.
College Dean John Kraft said that the Warrington endowment would provide immediate, much-needed funds for faculty and curriculum development and support. It is increasingly common, he said, for public schools of business to be named for donors of major endowments.
“Leading public universities including UCLA, the University of North Carolina, the University of Virginia and the University of California-Berkeley have named their business schools in recognition of gifts of this magnitude. In every case, those gifts have had a tremendous impact upon the schools in terms of raising quality and enhancing programs even in times of tight state budgets,” said Kraft.
Warrington was founding chairman and co-CEO of Sanifill, Inc., an environmental company in Houston that develops and operates nonhazardous solid waste landfills and land farms. In some markets, Sanifill also supports these facilities with collection capabilities–what the company calls its “disposal-based philosophy.” The company has operations throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico. Sanifill recently merged with USA Waste Inc. to form the third largest environmental service company in the world. Warrington is also a founder of the Atlanta-based health and beauty aids manufacturer, House of Cheatham, Inc.
Warrington joined the CPA firm of Arthur Andersen & Co. in Atlanta after graduating from UF. He rose to partner in 1968 when he became the head of the firm’s audit practice in Atlanta. In 1972, Warrington was named managing partner of Arthur Andersen’s new office in Miami. Under his direction, the Miami office became one of the firm’s three fastest growing offices in the world. He subsequently moved to Arthur Andersen’s Houston office as managing partner of its Practice Development and Special Services divisions. He retired from Arthur Andersen & Co. in 1989 to create Sanifill.
Warrington was also instrumental in creating the University of Florida School of Accounting, according to Kraft.
“Al Warrington was one of the original Advisory Committee members of the college, and he founded the steering committee for the Fisher School. He was the driving force behind the accounting school and raised most of the money needed to fund a six-year experimental program before the school could be fully sanctioned by the state,” Kraft said.
Warrington has served as president of the UF National Alumni Association and Gator Boosters. He also was a member of the university Council of Advisors and the UF Foundation board of directors. He headed the facilities committee of Gator Boosters during the years when the north and south end zones and the skyboxes at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium were built, along with new tennis, track and baseball facilities. Warrington helped design the financing program that enabled the Athletic Association to fund these major projects.
In 1979 he was named a Distinguished Alumnus of the university, and in 1985 the Fisher School of Accounting made him its Outstanding Alumnus. His two sons and a daughter-in-law are also alumni of the University of Florida. Both Warrington and his sons are members of the Chi Phi fraternity.
- Jerald Jahn