By Andrea Price @aprice_1
University of Florida alum Al Warrington IV and his wife Judy recently gifted the university with $75 million, the largest gift in the school’s history. This gift combined with past donations to the school make Warrington (the college of business is already named after him) the university’s first $100 million donor.
Al Warrington, once a paper boy, attended the University of Florida to pursue a career in journalism, but after one of his professors told him that he should consider a career in accounting, Warrington changed his educational path, became an accountant, and worked as an accountant for the Florida firm Arthur Andersen & Co. for more than 30 years where he was managing partner of the firm. He left the firm in 1989 to start Sanifill, a Houston-based waste disposal company that merged with Waste Management Inc. in 1996 in a deal worth $1.34 billion.
Most people aren’t able to give as much money as Warrington to their favorite organizations or causes, but we can all give some of our time, talent and even financial resources to what we care about the most. Ultimately, our human bonds are strengthened when philanthropy is a personal value.
Warrington’s story made headlines because of the huge dollar amount, but the capacity we all have to give to those causes, organizations and people who matter to us is also significant. This capacity combined with our willpower is what will move our communities, states, regions and countries toward brighter futures. Yes, everybody can be great because everybody can be a philanthropist.