Tifton Gazette

Local News

November 7, 2012

ABAC School of Business named after Staffords

TIFTON — Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College will pay tribute to the late DeNean Stafford Jr. by naming the school of business the Stafford School of Business.  The naming recognizes years of devotion and support by the Stafford family for education and economic development.

ABAC President David Bridges said that for more than a decade before DeNean and Flora Stafford Jr. founded the Stafford Foundation in 1996, they were strong supporters of the College, and they continued their support after forming the foundation by making the ABAC Foundation the primary beneficiary of their family foundation.  

“The love for and support of ABAC started by DeNean and Flora Stafford has been carried on by the now 94-year old, but still enthusiastic Flora (Boo) Stafford and her children DeNean Stafford III, Mary Jane Stafford Theden and Sally Stafford Perez, making them ABAC’s largest benefactor to date,” Bridges said.  “By its name, by its programs and by virtue of the graduates it will produce, the Stafford School of Business will pay tribute to Mr. Stafford and his family, who through their family-owned businesses significantly enhance culture, education and economic development throughout the Southeastern United States.”  

The Stafford School of Business has big plans for students under the new direction of co-deans Dill and Susan Driscoll.

“The Business and Economic Development degree has been restructured to prepare students for four areas: starting a new business, taking over a family business, managing an existing business or providing economic development in rural communities,” Susan said. “These are the areas that students have been most interested in and we feel that these are also the areas that rural areas could use the most support.”

“We have already started recruiting 100 dedicated students for the class of 2017. We will recruit, train and place 100 percent of these students in internships and jobs,” Dill said. “The Stafford School of Business, through its focus on family-owned businesses and rural economic development and the graduates it will produce, will play prominently in the College’s mission to produce a more educated and economically productive Georgia.”

 The Stafford School of Business already has several business partnerships with more to come and many students ready to start businesses.  

“Our Business and Economic Development students are already working with rural communities like McRae and Pelham to develop business plans as part of a class project,” Dill said. “Several students are starting their own business such as BuckMaker, a top selling deer attractant in local hunting goods stores, and we just added another partnership yesterday - High Road Entertainment, a movie production company in Hollywood .”

Susan also said the newly-formed Stallion Roundtable will partner with companies to help provide business solutions to the companies while providing students the opportunity for real world work experience and exposure.  

For more information on the Stafford School of Business call 229.391.4830.  You may also contact Susan at sdriscoll@abac.edu or Dill at dill@abac.edu .

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