Philanthropist Holland Ware said he first noticed Bryan College while driving through the campus on his way to a Scopes Monkey Trial re-enactment in 1995.
He said he saw the campus' beauty and was impressed with its Christian teaching. He's been contributing to the school each year since then.
"Bryan College is graduating the type of Christian people that we need to lead our country," said Mr. Ware, a native of Hogansville, Ga., who has earned a fortune as a tree farmer.
His largest contribution came this week, when he donated 1,263 acres of timberland near Tallahassee, Fla., to the college. The land alone is worth about $2 million, Bryan College officials said. The timber could generate about $357,000 over the next five years for the college, school officials said.
Blake Hudson, vice president of advancement for Bryan, said the donation is one of the largest in the school's 80-year history.
"It's like a living endowment," Mr. Hudson said. "Some people make a gift and place it into the endowment of a college. With timberland, it's a renewable resource."
Mr. Hudson said the money is needed to fund scholarships and school improvements.
BY THE NUMBERS
* $2 million: Value of land donated to Bryan College
* $357,000: Expected earnings from timber sales over five years
* $1.3 million: Scholarship money Mr. Ware previously donated to Bryan
* 1,150: College enrollment
Source: Bryan College
"Our scholarship fund is important to us," Mr. Hudson said. "We're expecting a significant increase in enrollment and therefore need scholarships, both need-based and merit-based, for students."
Mr. Ware already has given Bryan more than $1.3 million in endowed presidential scholarships and assisted with other projects, according to school officials.
A Bryan news release said Mr. Ware began his timber business in Hogansville more than 40 years ago. He is founder of the Holland M. Ware Charitable Foundation that supports cancer research and educational initiatives. He also supports national animal rescue and humanitarian aid. Mr. Ware has assisted the Holland M. Ware Cancer Research Center at Emory University and the Holland M. Ware Imaging Center at Auburn University College of Veterinary medicine.
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Yolanda Putman has been a reporter at the Times Free Press for 11 years. She covers housing and previously covered education and crime. Yolanda is a Chattanooga native who has a master’s degree in communication from the University of Tennessee and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Alabama State University. She previously worked at the Lima (Ohio) News. She enjoys running, reading and writing and is the mother of one son, Tyreese. She has also ...