When U.S. Army Col. Lewis “Jack” Peevy died in January, he made sure his legacy would support cadets at the University of North Georgia for years to come.
When Peevy willed his home and other real estate to the corps, he planned that the bequest would amount to a donation of $2.1 million for the UNG Foundation. After Peevy’s death, the property was estimated to be worth much more — $5.2 million, a sum that will be used to create an endowment for Corps of Cadet scholarships and program support.
It is the second-largest gift in the university’s history.
“This is going to go a long way in helping us,” said Andrew Leavitt, CEO of the UNG Foundation. “It was a planned gift that had paid out at a much higher level than anybody, including Col. Peevy, really knew.”
Leavitt said the property, which includes some commercial real estate in Alpharetta, will be liquidated and added to the foundation’s endowment. The gift is large enough to continually earn funds for Corps of Cadet scholarships and supports such as transportation and equipment.
Peevy, a 1964 graduate of the corps, maintained an interest in the program and was named a distinguished alumnus in 2013. He committed the bequest, then thought to be $2.1 million, in 2012, establishing the Col. Jack Peevy Military Scholarship.
“He has always been in contact and has loved in the institution, and more specifically loved the Corps of Cadets,” Leavitt said.
Peevy, who lived in the Alpharetta area, served a combat tour in Vietnam, where he was wounded seven times and hospitalized for more than two years. During his career, he commanded airborne infantry, Special Forces and military intelligence units.
His awards, decorations and qualifications include the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal with V Device, Purple Heart, Meritorious Service Medal, Parachutist Badge, Combat Infantryman’s Badge, and the Special Forces Tab.
Col. Peevy was very supportive of this university, and transformative gifts like his sustain our efforts to educate some of the country’s finest Army officers and future military leaders,” UNG President Bonita Jacobs said in a written statement.
“This man, for his generosity, will make sure that we will continue to be the finest military institution,” Leavitt said.
UNG is one of six federally designated senior military colleges in the United States.
Leavitt said there were already a large number of scholarships available to cadets.
“Clearly, this is a large addition to that,” he said. “I’d guess it’s 40 to 45 percent,” as the endowment continues to generate funds.