Giving

Supporting the mission, leaving a legacy

June 8, 2018

Worth Harris Carter Jr. had a special place in his heart for Liberty University.

For many years, Carter, founder and president of Carter Bank & Trust, was the go-to guy when the young, fledgling university needed financial help.

He had a trusting relationship with both Liberty’s founder, the Rev. Jerry Falwell, and his son, current LU President Jerry Falwell.

“Over and over he was the right person in the right place at the right time when nobody else would believe in this university,” President Falwell said.

Beginning his career as a cashier, Carter put himself through college and two years of law school before founding a bank from scratch in 1973. From that venture, he went on to build Carter Bank & Trust, a $4.5 billion company with over 100 branches across Virginia and North Carolina.

Carter died last year at age 79, but his support of the university continues with a major, long-lasting contribution. In his estate plans, Carter donated 75,000 shares of bank stock with an estimated market value of $1.3 million, which will be part of Liberty’s endowment.

Carter’s gift shows his loyalty to his employees, their families, and the regions that supported his banking business. It will be used for scholarships for eligible Carter Bank & Trust employees, their children and grandchildren, and residents of Franklin, Henry, and Patrick counties in Virginia.

Liberty is required to hold on to the stock for 10 years before it can start divesting of it at a rate of 10 percent a year. (The stock can be sold earlier if Carter Bank & Trust is sold.)

At Carter’s funeral, West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice provided an insightful summary of who Worth Carter was.

“We grew up together,” Justice said. “I knew I could count on him and always did.”

President Jerry Falwell paid tribute to Carter during a Convocation shortly after his death. He told students how vital Carter was to Liberty’s phenomenal success.

“He planted the seeds for everything you see here (on campus),” he said.

With the faithful support of many generous donors like Carter, the university’s endowment has grown from $4.1 million in 2007 to $1.3 billion this year. The endowment generates about $50 million in additional annual income for the university.

To become a supporter of Liberty, contact the Office of University Development at (866) 602-7983 or visit Liberty.edu/Giving.

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