The University of Central Arkansas Advancement Division announced a $250,000 gift from Terry Pillow, CEO of Tommy Bahama, Inc., to support UCA’s College of Business dean’s position. The gift will provide current support and create an endowment for future expenses. The fund is named in memory of his parents, Homer and Regina Pillow. It is the sixth fund established in the UCA Foundation to support a faculty, chair or dean position.
"I’m often reminded of how influential my time at UCA has been in my life and career," Pillow said. "UCA is built on a reputation of excellence and I’m proud to be an alumnus and to support UCA’s long tradition of commitment to educating students."
"A gift from this distinguished business leader confirms that UCA is headed in the right direction," UCA President Tom Courtway said. "We are very grateful for his generosity."
The recently released UCA’s Framework for the Future, a comprehensive strategy aimed at positioning UCA as a national leader in higher education, specifically notes the need for private support of faculty and staff positions. "The establishment of the endowment and the use of the available funds will be vital for recruiting and retaining the very best person as the next college of business dean," said UCA Provost Steven Runge.
Pillow, a native of Corning, Ark., was named as one of the UCA distinguished alumni at the 2013 Night of Distinction. While a student, Pillow was an active member of the Sigma Tau Gamma fraternity and class officer. He graduated with a BBA in marketing in 1976.
His career started at Neiman Marcus in Dallas, and has worked his way through the ranks of the clothing industry. While in college, he worked full time at Browning and White, a Conway men’s clothing store, which he parlayed into a position in the Neiman Marcus executive training program following graduation.
Pillow has served in his current position at Tommy Bahama Group, Inc. since 2008. Tommy Bahama has more than 3,000 employees and approximately $500 million in sales revenue.
Prior to that, he was CEO of Ralph Lauren Footwear; CEO of The Rockport Company; President of Coach Apparel and President of A/X Armani Exchange.
He and his wife, Kelley, live in Seattle with their young son, Sam.