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BB&T Capitalism, Markets & Morality Fellowship Endowment Fund

The following biography was written at the time of this scholarship establishment; some information may not be up to date:

BB&T was founded in 1892 as Branch and Hadley, a merchant bank in Wilson, NC. Its founders were Alpheus Branch, the owner of a small mercantile business, and Thomas Jefferson Hadley, a local businessman. In 1887, Branch bought Hadley’s interest in the bank and changed its name to Branch and Company, Bankers. Two years later, Branch, Hadley and others received a state charter for the Wilson Banking & Trust Co. Later, the name was changed to Branch Banking and Co. In 1900, the bank bought Branch and Co, Bankers. In 1907, it became the first bank in the state to engage in trust activities. In 1913, the name was changed to Branch Banking & Trust Co., and the company finally came to be known as BB&T.

The bank grew, opening new offices, offering new services, such as insurance and mortgage loans, and becoming one of NC’s most prominent banks. The bank’s growth continued throughout the Depression, World War II, and the decades that followed. By 1994, BB&T had become NC’s fourth largest bank, with assets of $10.5 billion and 263 offices in 138 cities,both in North Carolina and South Carolina.

In 1995, BB&T and Winston-Salem-based Southern National, the state’s fifth largest bank completed a “merger of equals.” The resulting financial institution was one with 437 branches in 220 cities in the Carolinas and Virginia, all carrying the BB&T name. It was based in Winston-Salem. The bank quickly grew, acquiring banks in Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Tennessee, and West Virginia. As of Dec. 31, 2005, BB&T Corp. had $109.2 billion assets, operated more than 1,400 banking offices in 11 states and Washington, DC, and had more than 28,000 employees.