University of Alabama at Birmingham Names its Business School to Honor Charles and Patsy Collat

The University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) held a press conference last week to announce that the University’s Business School would now be named the Collat School of Business. The designation was in honor of Charles Collat, Sr. and his wife Patsy for their support of the school for the last 30 years and their gifts and pledges that now total $25 million. Charles Collat, Sr. is the former CEO and current Chairman Emeritus of Mayer Electric Supply Co., Inc., headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama.


The Collat School of Business is the very first named school in UAB’s history, which traces its roots back to 1859.  “We are so proud that our business school will bear the Collat name,” UAB President, Dr. Ray Watts, said. “Charles and Patsy have been a tremendous example.” Dr. Watts shared that while the UAB School of Industrial Distribution, which Charles helped start 30 years ago, is already one of the best in the nation, UAB’s new Institute of Innovation and Entrepreneurship will bring further renown and recognition to the University and the Collat School of Business. “The Collat School of Business will prepare many future business and industry leaders both nationally and internationally.”


Charles was both humbled and honored by the news of the name change.  “In my wildest dreams I could have never imagined a day like today”, he said. Never taking personal credit for his success and philanthropy, in his acceptance speech Charles took the time to specially attribute his achievements to all Mayer associates and thanked them, past and present, for their dedication and hard work that have enabled such gifts.


At the root of all his achievements, Charles also took time to point out that his wife of 60 years, Patsy played a major role in everything he has done “… for without Patsy I would not have had this opportunity, period.”


Click here to view the full press conference and here to view the announcement letter to Charles Collat from Dr. Ray Watts.


Mayer Electric Supply is a wholesale-distributor of electrical equipment and supplies, lighting, factory automation, tools and communications. The company serves contractors, industrials, utilities, commercial businesses and institutions with new construction and maintenance components, parts, equipment and supplies. Mayer is a third-generation, family-owned business founded in Birmingham, Alabama in 1930. The company is also a certified woman-owned business. Mayer serves customers in nine southern states with 52 locations and over 1,000 associates.

UAB is part of the University of Alabama education system. For the fourth consecutive year the University of Alabama at Birmingham has reached record enrollment, with combined undergraduate and graduate enrollment of 17,999 students.

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