The College of Business Administration, has hung a George Washington portrait, given by the family of an ACU alumnus, at the entrance of the Dean’s suite.
The piece of artwork, painted by Albert Gallatin Hoit, is an original replica of Gilbert Stuart’s famous Lansdowne portrait of George Washington, which hangs in the National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian.
“The Hoit replica was painted in 1853,” said Dean of the College of Business, Brad Crisp. “My understanding is that it traveled the nation raising money for the Mount Vernon Restoration Society.”
The painting was originally in the collection of Bill Waugh for a number of years.
Waugh was an ACU trustee and an alumnus of the university who was involved in the designing of the Mabee Business Building.
“Sometime in the eighties, he decided he would loan the painting to the university,” said Crisp. “I think when I was a student here, it hung on the wall in the atrium.”
Waugh would then take the painting back since he only loaned it to ACU. However, he died in 2015, and his wife, Liwei Waugh, decided to give the painting to COBA for good.
Waugh thought that the painting was something she should give to ACU in honor of his life. Once she had decided she would donate it, she found some of his written documents and found out that he actually wanted to give the George Washington painting to COBA.
For people who do not know much about Bill Waugh, he was the founder of Taco Bueno, which began in Abilene and spread to different areas in Texas as well as Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Colorado.
He had also founded Crystal’s Pizza, Casa Bonita, and Burger Street.
“Having this picture is a nice nod to somebody who has had a big influence not only on this building and ACU, but also to his legacy as an entrepreneur.” Said Crisp
Crisp also said jokingly, that somewhere along the way he will expect selfies with George to be happening.