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Virginia Tech News / Articles / 2012 / 09 

Retired CEO to discuss cure to the financial crisis

September 19, 2012

John Allison discusses capitalism in the BB&T Lecture.
John Allison, who gave the inaugural lecture of the BB&T Distinguished Lecture Series on Capitalism in 2007, will return for another talk.

John A. Allison, retired chairman and CEO of BB&T Corp., will give a talk, “The Financial Crisis and The Free Market Cure,” on Tuesday, Sept. 25, at 3:30 p.m. at the Inn at Virginia Tech’s Latham Ballroom as the BB&T Distinguished Speaker, hosted by the Pamplin College of Business.

The talk, part of the BB&T Distinguished Lecture Series on Capitalism, is free and open to the public, no tickets are required. Free parking is available at the Inn at Virginia Tech and Skelton Conference Center. Find more parking information online, or call 540-231-3200.

Allison, who received a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of North Carolina and an MBA from Duke University, began his career with BB&T in 1971. He retired in 2008 after nearly 20 years as the top executive at the Winston-Salem, N.C.-based financial services company. During his tenure as CEO, BB&T’s assets grew from $4.5 billion to $152 billion. He was selected by Harvard Business Review as one of the 100 most successful CEOs in the world over the last decade.

Under Allison’s guidance, BB&T has sponsored more than 65 programs at universities on the moral foundations of capitalism, where Ayn Rand’s classic “Atlas Shrugged” is often the focus of study.

Allison gave the inaugural lecture of the Pamplin College’s BB&T lecture series five years ago. Featuring two speakers each year, the lectures discuss current issues in business management and government policy, in addition to topics related to capitalism.

The series is part of a Pamplin College teaching program to explore the foundations of capitalism and freedom. The program’s courses, undergraduate and graduate, examine alternative economic systems, including socialism and communism, and compare them with the economic solutions offered by free markets. For more information, please contact finance professor and program director Douglas Patterson.

Previous BB&T speakers include veteran financial journalist John Berry, Greg Ip of The Economist, Nobel Laureate James M. Buchanan, and Pamplin alumnus and Forbes newsletter editor Vahan Janjigian. The program was established in 2007 in the college’s finance department with a $1 million gift from BB&T Charitable Foundation.