The Columns

W&L Receives $2.5 Million Endowment in Honor of Larry C. Peppers

— by on May 9th, 2009

Washington and Lee University has received a $2.5 million gift from E. Mac and Linda T. Crawford of Nashville, Tenn., to establish an endowment in honor of Larry C. Peppers, dean of the Williams School of Commerce, Economics and Politics.

The Crawford Family Deanship at W&L will support the dean and faculty in the Williams School by providing income for competitive salaries of its faculty.

In addition, the Crawford gift will be matched through the Lenfest Challenge, through which W&L benefactor and alumnus Gerry Lenfest (classes of 1953 and 1955 law) has committed $33 million to an endowment in support of undergraduate and law faculty compensation, and will match gifts designed for that purpose.

Mr. and Mrs. Crawford are the parents of 1996 W&L graduate Andrew (Drew) D. Crawford. They have designed their gift to recognize the extraordinary contributions that Peppers has made during the 23 years of his deanship at the Williams School. Mr. and Mrs. Crawford are 1971 graduates of Auburn University.

“This is a wonderful gift that appropriately pays tribute to Larry Peppers’ many accomplishments at the University and at the Williams School, in particular,” said W&L President Kenneth P. Ruscio. “In addition, that the gift comes from parents of one of our graduates is a significant vote of confidence in the work of our faculty and staff, whose focus is on personalized attention and one-on-one interactions with students.”

Mac and Drew Crawford are co-founders with Bill Spalding, a 1984 graduate of W&L’s School of Law, in the Nashville, Tenn., firm of CrawfordSpalding, which focuses on financial and crisis management, mergers, acquisitions and divestitures, operational effectiveness, strategic planning and business development.

Prior to establishing CrawfordSpalding, Mac Crawford served as chairman of CVSCaremark Inc., a Fortune 20 company formed by the 2007 merger of CVS and Caremark. Previously, Mr. Crawford was chairman, president and chief executive officer of Caremark Rx Inc.

Drew Crawford began his career with Arthur Andersen in Atlanta before joining Caremark in 1998. He left Caremark in 2000 to become the chief financial officer of Emageon, an information technology company. He rejoined Caremark in 2001 and held several executive positions there prior to its merger with CVS, and then served as SVP of underwriting and analytics for CVSCaremark Inc., a Fortune 20 company. He was responsible for all underwriting and the analytic and outcomes operations of the company’s pharmacy benefits management, specialty and disease management businesses. He also led development efforts to bring new products to the marketplace by combining the strengths of Caremark and CVS.

“We are very pleased to be able to make this gift in recognition of both Larry Peppers and Washington and Lee University,” said Mr. and Mrs. Crawford. “Washington and Lee has been a very special place to us, beginning with Drew’s first year, in 1992. Dean Peppers was an important part of enhancing Drew’s experience at W&L, and to be able to honor him for all of his accomplishments throughout his tenure is something that we embraced when we were presented the opportunity.”

Peppers joined the Washington and Lee faculty in 1986 as dean of the school of commerce and professor of economics. He had been chairman of the economics and finance department at Creighton University prior to coming to W&L.

A graduate of Grinnell College, Peppers received his Ph.D. in economics from Vanderbilt University. His areas of specialization include economic forecasting and macroeconomics. Peppers’ wife, Fran, has enriched the lives of countless generations of students by curating art exhibitions in Huntley and Holekamp Halls. Their son, Todd Peppers, a 1990 graduate of W&L, is professor of politics and law at Roanoke College, while their daughter, Susan Peppers-Bates, is associate professor of philosophy at Stetson University.

Under his leadership, the Williams School has added five endowed professorships, three term professorships and a number of new programs for students, including the Williams School spring term internship programs in Washington and New York, the Law and Commerce Leaders program, the Williams Investment Society and Washington and Lee Student Consulting. Peppers was instrumental in the successful fund-raising drive that resulted in the opening of Holekamp Hall in 2007.

In addition, Peppers developed the Executive-in-Residence program, which brings to campus outstanding executives from all sectors of society — business, government, nonprofit groups and the international community — to meet and work with students and faculty. In 2007, Mac and Drew Crawford served as Executives-in-Residence, sharing with students and faculty the details of the successful merger of Caremark and CVS, which they had led. Drew Crawford is on the Williams School Board of Advisors, another of the initiatives that Peppers established in the school.