Williams Stadium West Tower named in honor of longtime supporter Worth Carter
On one of the most significant days in its history, Liberty University’s Athletics Department took time to honor one of its longtime financial supporters during the Flames’ first football game as an FBS program on Saturday at Williams Stadium.
Before Liberty emerged with a 52-10 triumph over in-state foe Old Dominion University, the Williams Stadium West Tower was renamed Carter Tower in memory and appreciation of Worth Harris Carter, Jr., a generous donor to the university and Liberty Flames Athletics.
A Richmond, Va., native, Carter started his career as a Federal Reserve bank examiner before founding a small community bank in 1974 in Rocky Mount, Va., with eight employees and $1.2 million in assets. Over the ensuing 30 years, he would establish a total of 10 community banks throughout Virginia and North Carolina. In 2006, he merged the 10 banks into Carter Bank & Trust with 123 branches, nearly 1,000 employees, and $4.5 billion in total assets.
Carter’s work ethic was truly legendary as he continued to serve as Carter Bank & Trust’s CEO and chairman of the board until he died on April 7, 2017, at the age of 79. At the time of his death, Carter Bank & Trust had become Virginia’s second largest community bank. The bank was also one of Liberty Athletics’ largest corporate sponsors and the longest-tenured luxury suite holder. In addition, Carter was himself one of the largest individual annual donors to the Flames Club.
Carter Bank & Trust helped underwrite much of Liberty University’s growth and operations dating back to the late 1980s, providing the university’s first long-term mortgage financing in 1997. In recognition of Carter’s legendary and innovative contributions to small-town banking in Virginia, and his support of Liberty University, he was awarded an honorary doctorate of business from the university in 2012.
“I can attest to the fact that Liberty University would not have survived the financial struggles it faced in the 1990s if Worth Carter had not believed in the school and the incredible potential it had,” Liberty President Jerry Falwell said. “His willingness to loan to Liberty when the big banks all said ‘No’ was key to Liberty stabilizing its finances and growing to become one of the most successful and prosperous universities in the nation.”
Upon Carter’s death, he established the Worth Harris Carter, Jr., and Katherine S. Carter Endowment Scholarship Fund to provide assistance for deserving Liberty students from areas of Virginia and North Carolina.