A Genuine Part of the Emory Community

It is a letter that has been widely circulated, as much for its generous spirit as for the specific news it imparts. It is a letter that Earl Dolive '48C wrote to the dean of the Goizueta Business School, Ronald E. Frank, to announce his $250,000 gift in support of the new building. Scheduled to open this summer, the business school building will be one of the most technologically advanced academic settings anywhere.

Dolive--a member of the business school's Dean's Advisory Council--makes it clear how much the vision of the dean influenced his decision to support the building project. He says, in his letter to the dean, "Nobody knows better than I do how devoted you have been to this project, and if it hadn't been for you, I honestly do not believe it would have been accomplished at this time."

In part, then, it is a gift to honor a friendship. It is also a gesture of thanks to the program itself for giving Dolive an advantage in the world of business. In Dolive's words, "I give myself some credit for the success that I have enjoyed all these years, but I honestly believe that the greatest credit goes to the Emory School of Business."

That personal success has been considerable. After graduating from Emory in 1940 with a degree in accounting, Dolive served in the Air Force for the duration of World War II. Commissioned as an officer in 1942, he was the chief administrative officer for a hospital with the 20th Air Force in India until his discharge in 1946.

Dolive joined Genuine Parts in 1937, working his way up from a job in the stockroom to head of purchasing in the company's Charlotte, North Carolina, operation. After the war, he worked in Birmingham, Charlotte, and Minneapolis before returning to the Atlanta home office as vice president of finance. Dolive was based in Atlanta for the remainder of his career, serving on the board of Genuine Parts and being appointed vice chairman in 1974. In 1989, Dolive was awarded the Distinguished Service Citation by the Automotive Hall of Fame for helping to make Genuine Parts one of the largest automotive wholesale distributors in the country.

Though retired now, Dolive expresses some of his tremendous energy on the green, as he continues to maintain a passion for golf that has existed since he played on the freshman golf team at Emory. His pride, in retirement, has been to watch the heady progress made by his sons and daughters in establishing their careers. Mary Ann Dolive Sergan is a graduate of the University of South Carolina; James C. Dolive is an Oglethorpe graduate; Earl Dolive Jr. is the CEO at Total Office Products Service, an Emory vendor; and Melinda Dolive Quigley graduated from Emory College in 1985.

William H. Fox, vice president for institutional advancement, describes Dolive as "a generous, thoughtful human being. It is gracious of him to credit part of his success to Emory. He is the kind of alumnus that we at Emory dream about. I also happily call him my friend."

A classroom in the new business school building will be named in honor of Dolive's wife, Mary Ruth, who died in 1996. Demonstrating that philanthropy is second nature to him, Dolive also funded the education of a young Chinese student he met in his travels. To do so, he made use of a scholarship he established at Oglethorpe University. In addition, he was instrumental in directing Genuine Parts' funds to the Carlyle Fraser Heart Center at Crawford Long Hospital.

For a 1948 graduate to embrace the technology that is so much a part of the new business school building is testimony to his forward thinking. There are, for example, 1,176 ways to plug into a laptop computer and log onto the Internet. Indeed, an extensive technological infrastructure will inform all facets of education in the new building. It is not only today's needs, however, that carefully have been accounted for; the architects, interior designers, and technology specialists have given the building the flexibility to embrace the still-unknown innovations of the future. The new building will be dedicated September 26.

Beneath all the wires and special equipment lies the true distinctive feature of this building: the friendships that have made it possible. Dean Frank responds to Earl Dolive's name by saying, "A school is defined by its graduates. With alumni such as Earl Dolive, the business school cannot miss on its journey to preeminence. Earl's friendship, counsel, and support have been special since my first day at Emory."--S.M.C.

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