A Visionary Gift to Education
Jim Hull’s connections run deep to both Georgia Regents University and Augusta. At 17, Jim Hull obtained his real estate license and started a lifelong career. A few years later, he served in the U.S. Air Force and later the Air Force Reserves. He and wife Karen Newton, a teacher, raised four children: daughters Coles and Caroline, and sons Jim and Frank. In 1977, Hull returned to Augusta and founded Hull Properties, ultimately developing more than 40 shopping centers and freestanding commercial buildings and restaurants. In the late 1990s, he and Barry Storey launched Hull Storey Retail Group (now Hull, Storey, Gibson Companies, LLC), one of the largest privately owned retail real estate companies of its kind in the Southeast. While cementing his legacy ofbusiness success, Hull began a civic and philanthropic tradition of giving to his community.
One area of special interest has been education, and students in Augusta have many times been grateful beneficiaries. In 2006, Hull donated $2 million to Augusta State University—the largest single gift in the school’s history—to establish the James M. Hull College of Business, subsequently named by The Princeton Review as among the nation’s best schools of business. He helped obtain another $2 million gift from the Knox Foundation and later gave an additional $1 million to support the College of Business’ accountancy program. This past year, Hull and Augusta businessmen Clay Boardman and Will McKnight, led the charge to raise $5 million in philanthropic support from the Augusta community to construct the J. Harold Harrison, M.D. Education Commons on GRU’s Health Sciences Campus.
Hull serves on boards of the ASU Foundation and the MCG Foundation, and is a member of the GRU Board of Visitors, whose members serve as external advisors to the President. In that role, Hull was also part of the university’s consolidation working group, appointed by University of Georgia Board of Regents Chancellor Hank M. Huckaby. A member of the Junior Achievement’s CSRA Business Hall of Fame and Beta Gamma Sigma’s Honor Society, he received the Augusta Bar Association’s prestigious Liberty Bell Award and in 2008, along with wife Karen, was amed the Society of Fundraising Professionals’ Philanthropist of the year.
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