Vanderbilt alumnus makes $5M gift to advance Commodores basketball program

George and Cathy Huber

Vanderbilt University today announced that Seattle-area businessman and Vanderbilt alumnus George B. Huber, BA’79, and his wife Cathy have made a $5 million gift to support the men’s basketball program, which will be used to enhance facilities and support services.

“The student-athlete community is an essential part of the Vanderbilt experience and the university’s identity,” said Huber, whose son, Tyler, is a 2014 Vanderbilt graduate. “The men’s basketball team has the building blocks to become a perennial powerhouse, and we’re excited by the opportunity to strengthen the broader Vanderbilt community through the program.”

Susan R. Wente, interim chancellor and provost, said Vanderbilt Athletics represents an important part of Vanderbilt’s mission to provide a holistic, inclusive education inside and outside of the classroom.

“Vanderbilt ranks among a select few universities that can offer student-athletes a rigorous, world-class academic experience, as well as the opportunity to play in one of the nation’s most competitive athletic conferences,” Wente said. “With this generous gift, we can continue to build upon these strengths.”

Vanderbilt Vice Chancellor for University Affairs and Athletics Director Malcolm Turner said being able to succeed in academics and athletics requires many components, from maintaining practice and playing facilities, to student and fan support, to the expertise and experience of the coaching and support staffs.

“They all contribute to the Vanderbilt experience and the outcomes for our student-athletes,” Turner said. “We have an incredible opportunity at Vanderbilt to build a program that is the envy of college athletics.”

Huber said as a student and as a parent, he has fond memories of cheering on the Commodores with close friends and family in Memorial Gymnasium. “When I was a freshman the ‘F Troop,’ an NCAA tournament team, led the Vanderbilt men’s team as seniors,” he recalled. “From then on we supported Charles Davis, a Nashville native and one of the best players in the country who went on to play eight seasons in the NBA.”

“The Hubers’ generosity exemplifies what drives us every day as Commodores—a desire to excel in the classroom and on the court,” men’s basketball head coach Jerry Stackhouse said. “We are humbled and honored to have the Huber name associated with our program, and we will work to make them proud of what we will accomplish across all aspects of the Vanderbilt student-athlete experience.”

Huber is the founder, president and chief executive officer of Equity Investment Group, Inc., a diversified, private investment holding company out of Ft. Wayne, Indiana. He founded EIG in 1987. He also is the co-founder and managing partner of Finback Investment Partners, a Miami, Florida-based merchant banking firm.

In 2016, the Hubers established the Huber Family Scholarship in Vanderbilt’s College of Arts and Science. Beyond their support of Vanderbilt, Cathy and George Huber are both actively involved with nonprofit organizations, one that advocates against child abuse and another whose focus is to build homes for people living in extreme poverty around the world.