DUNWOODY, Ga. — The longest serving sitting university president in Georgia, Larry Schall, was the speaker for the Rotary Club of Dunwoody recently. Schall has served as president of Oglethorpe University for 14 years and has announced he will retire June 2020.
During his time as president, Oglethorpe has entered an era of growth and innovation. The university has more than doubled net assets while reducing total debt by 51 percent; increased annual revenues by 150 percent; increased the endowment by 157 percent; grown enrollment by 50.8 percent; established strategic entrepreneurial partnerships; and experienced historic levels of philanthropic giving, with more than $130 million raised since Schall took office.
Oglethorpe is significant to the Dunwoody Rotary club since every year an international student chosen for the Georgia Rotary Student Program attends this university, funded for a year by the Dunwoody club. This year the student is Yemariam Workneh from Ethiopia. She will be an active member of the club during her year here.
Schall explained his philosophy of the appropriate role of college students and universities. He believes the student body should reflect the people of the United States in ethnicity. He is a strong proponent of connecting students to community. For example, during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Oglethorpe students helped pack planes with goods needed by smaller towns in its destructive path.
Schall told of one of the most influential graduates of Oglethorpe, William Hammack, who donated $50 million to found the School of Business at his alma mater.