In the world of real estate, experience has always been the best teacher.
It was this knowledge that led seasoned real estate veteran Robert H. Ledbetter Sr., IM 1958, to make a $1 million gift to the College of Management to establish and endow the Robert H. Ledbetter Sr. Professorship of the Practice of Real Estate Development.
Ledbetter is founder, CEO, and president of R. H. Ledbetter Properties Inc., a family-owned real estate development and management firm headquartered in Rome, Georgia.
The company concentrates on commercial investment real estate, specializing in retail, medical service, and medical office developments. Its current portfolio consists of more than 1.3 million square feet of investment properties in north Georgia, Tennessee, and Indiana and also includes 700,000 square feet on the drawing board to proceed in the near future.
"As the current market clearly shows, real estate development can be quite a challenging profession," says Ledbetter. "To be successful in real estate development in the long run, you have to know how to anticipate trends in the marketplace and in the larger economy.
"For college students interested in the real estate development business, the best way for them to start learning is through an experienced developer who has seen it all. The Professor of the Practice concept is ideal for the field of real estate development, and I'm glad to be able to provide that kind of expertise for Tech's students."
A former member of the Georgia Tech Foundation Board of Trustees and the College of Management Advisory Board, Ledbetter is currently serving on the Class of 1958 50th Reunion Fund Committee.
His recent gift for the Ledbetter Professorship will be included in the Class of 1958 Reunion Giving total. He has also committed $100,000 to the Alexander-Tharpe Fund and has 45 consecutive years contributing to Roll Call.
"Many Georgia Tech alumni have been star players in the arena of real estate development—in Atlanta, in the state of Georgia, and in other major cities around the world," says College of Management Dean Steve Salbu, who holds the Stephen P. Zelnak Jr. Chair.
"Bob Ledbetter epitomizes the successful real estate developer, and it is fitting that he should play this lead role in creating the Robert H. Ledbetter Sr. Professorship of the Practice of Real Estate Development. Bob's very generous gift enables the College of Management to add substantially to our excellent course offerings in this important field.
"The future Bob Ledbetters of the real estate development world will benefit enormously from new real estate course offerings, taught by a gifted practitioner, that will result from this wonderful endowment."
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