June 26, 2012
Multiple Passions: Willoughby Credits Carolina for Success
A successful wealth assets manager who credits Carolina for where he is today, Mark Willoughby, ’79, political science, has many passions in life.
The former Gamecock football player demonstrated two of his passions with his recent estate gift. Beneficiaries are the USC Athletics Department General Scholarship Endowed Fund, and The Charles Mark Willoughby Political Science Endowment Fund. Future student-athletes and Arts & Sciences graduates will be the ultimate beneficiaries.
Loyal Gamecock Credits Carolina for Standing by Him
Willoughby is a founding partner of CapWealth Advisors, LLC, in Franklin, Tenn., just outside Nashville. When he isn’t advising clients, he enjoys taking his 13-year-old son, Matthew, a budding hockey player, to Nashville Predators games—or returning to Williams-Brice Stadium for fall football.
While some memories are bittersweet, Willoughby’s overall affection for Carolina is steadfast. As a talented wide receiver and freshman in 1975, he suffered a major knee injury that eventually ended his football playing days. Then-coach Jim Carlen let him remain on scholarship, which allowed Willoughby to complete his education.
“I owe the University a lot,” he said, putting the opportunity to good use: 14 years in banking and 19 years in investments. Included in his accomplishments is helping to found CapWealth LLC in 2000.
An Exemplary Education Used Daily
“Not just my Political Science education, but the overall quality of education I received at Carolina was exemplary,” Willoughby said. “I developed the tools I use professionally to reason through areas and issues where the answers may not be visible at first, which is critical in assets management.”
Whether his professors taught philosophy or English, what they imparted were communication tools he uses each day.
“In my field you need to think many steps down the road, talk to your client about them, and discuss the logic of an investment decision,” he said.
Standing by a 'Visionary' Capital Campaign
Willoughby also enjoys witnessing the University’s overall efforts in gaining momentum toward its $1 billion capital campaign goal by 2015.
“I’m excited about the Carolina’s Promise campaign and believe it will reach its goal,” he said. “It is truly visionary and sets a high bar for the University to achieve. Carolina needs to establish ever-higher standards for admissions, academics, and Athletics; friends and alumni should be challenged in the same regard to offer support.”
Willoughby and wife Laura have been married 30 years and have two children.
–Larry Di Giovanni, Development Communications