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College of Charleston Receives $1 Million to Establish Center of Vietnamese Enterprise

University News - On the Move

CHARLESTON, SC – The College of Charleston has signed an agreement with Jack Tate, a South Carolina entrepreneur who founded Carolina Baby Superstores, through which Tate will donate up to US$1 million to the College Foundation over the next two years.

The College will match Tate’s financial gift in-kind and cash to help fund two key initiatives in the School of Business. The money is designated for two separate initiatives: the new Center of Vietnamese Enterprise and the pending M.B.A. or other academic programs.

“Jack Tate’s generous gift will allow the School of Business to launch a full-time M.B.A. program for Charleston that will prepare students for careers in our global economy,” says George Benson, president of the College of Charleston. “This gift will also help the College establish academic and economic relationships between South Carolina and Vietnam. Both of these initiatives align with the College’s new Strategic Plan, which seeks to establish greater connections between our academic programs and the world around us.”

Tate contributed an additional amount to establish the Jack Tate Distinguished Professor position. Alan T. Shao, dean of the School of Business, holds the distinguished professor position.

Center of Vietnamese Enterprise (C.O.V.E.)

The purpose of C.O.V.E. is to enrich cultural and business understanding between the United States and Vietnam, a major developing country and leading importer of goods into the United States.

Initially, the fund will make it possible for Tate scholars from Vietnam to experience intensive year-long language and culture immersion at the College of Charleston and learn alongside American students. The first group of Vietnamese students is expected in the fall 2010 semester.

The Tate Center within the School of Business will house C.O.V.E. and other professional centers within the School. Tate’s initial gift enabled the School to establish the first entrepreneurship center in the state and build a world-class facility complete with classrooms, meeting rooms, conference space, and an atrium.

“Jack Tate has been a friend of the School of Business for many years,” says Shao. “I look forward to working with him to build C.O.V.E., make it a true cultural and business exchange, and create new opportunities for our students and faculty.”

About the College of Charleston School of Business
College of Charleston’s School of Business offers five undergraduate programs, a master’s in accountancy, and an honors program. Approximately 1,650 undergraduate and graduate students attend from as far away as China, Germany, and Brazil. The faculty has research expertise in areas such as financial investment, bankruptcy, global logistics, political economics, business intelligence, hospitality and tourism, and sustainable business practices. Visit
sb.cofc.edu to learn more.

About Jack Tate
A native of Greenville, SC, Jack Tate attended the honors program at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and graduated as a Phi Beta Kappa with an English major. He went on to earn his J.D. at Harvard Law School in 1969, passed the SC bar exam, and is a licensed attorney. While in law school, he developed the idea to build “Carolina Baby, the Children Supermarket” and the first 17,000 sq. ft. retail store opened in Greenville on March 11, 1971. In 1997, he sold his retail chain of 70 stores to Toys R Us. In 2002, he relocated to Vietnam and resides there today with his friends and associates. He speaks fluent Vietnamese and focuses on helping to reduce poverty and improve health care opportunities for the Vietnamese people. Tate also works to foster good will and understanding between the Vietnamese and American people.

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