AU’s College of Business receives scholarship endowment

AUBURN – L. Nick Davis, of Thomasville, Ga., has established a scholarship endowment in the Auburn University College of Business through an initial gift and pledge of $25,000 in addition to a deferred gift of $1 million related to a life insurance policy. The donor requested that preference be given to undergraduate students in the Entrepreneurship and Family Business curriculum with a GPA of 3.5 or higher.

Davis also has pledged a $300,000 unrestricted cash gift to AU athletics. The gift will count towards the Legend Campaign and will go to the areas of greatest need.

Davis, a 1984 graduate in economics, is the president and majority shareholder of Progressive Restaurants Inc. Founded by Davis in 1997, Progressive is a 26-restaurant Taco Bell franchisee operating restaurants in north central Florida including Gainesville, Tallahassee, Ocala, Crystal River, Inverness, Belleview, St. Augustine and Palatka.

After graduating from AU, Davis joined Taco Bell Corporation as a manager trainee. During his seven years at Taco Bell, he served in positions of increasing responsibility and led operational and financial turnarounds of critical markets such as Atlanta, Ga., Birmingham, Ala., Jackson, Miss. and Charleston, S.C.

In 1991, Davis became regional director for WenSouth Corporation, a 46-restaurant Wendy’s franchisee, where he was responsible for marketing, capital spending and employee motivation for the entire corporation.

Davis has served on the board of directors for the Greater Tallahassee Advertising Federation, as president of the Tallahassee Auburn Club and as a board member of the Auburn Alumni Association from 2000 to 2004.

“Attracting and retaining the best students has become increasingly competitive,” said Paul Bobrowski, dean of the College of Business and Wachovia Professor. “Providing scholarships to recognize achievement as well as having excellent programs is essential for staying competitive for high-performing students.”

The Davis gift counts in the “It Begins at Auburn” campaign, the university’s multi-year fundraising effort. The campaign goal is to raise funds for all colleges and schools on campus as well as AU Libraries, athletics, Auburn University at Montgomery and the Jule Collins Smith Museum of Fine Art. The campaign’s focus includes student, faculty and program endowments; facility, equipment and campus beautification; research; and current operations.

The College of Business at Auburn University is accredited at the undergraduate and graduate levels by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International), the highest standard of achievement for business schools. Less than one-third of U.S. business schools and only 15 percent of business schools worldwide meet the rigorous standards of AACSB International accreditation. Institutions that earn accreditation confirm their commitment to quality and continuous improvement through a rigorous and comprehensive peer review.

(Contributed by Dina Kanellos.)

Contact: Dina Kanellos, (334) 844-2203 (, or
Mike Clardy, (334) 844-9999 (