Business & Economy

UWF names financial literacy center in honor of the late Louis A. Maygarden Jr.

The University of West Florida is honoring the legacy of Pensacola business leader, Louis A. Maygarden Jr. in recognition of his lifelong commitment to the community along with his significant contributions to the profession of finance by naming its Center for Financial Literacy at the College of Business after him. The Center has been named the Louis A. Maygarden, Jr. Center for Financial Literacy.

“The Louis A. Maygarden, Jr. Center for Financial Literacy recognizes his important work to improve lives of people in Northwest Florida by putting them on a solid financial footing,” said UWF President Martha D. Saunders. “The newly named center will give individuals the skills and knowledge needed to make informed and practical financial decisions.”

The Center, established in February, will provide counseling services and educational seminars to students and the public with the goal of enhancing the financial literacy of the citizens of Northwest Florida. Educational content offered will cover such topics as financial skills and knowledge, prudent use of consumer credit, debt management, credit counseling, money management, business ethics, mortgage counseling, retirement planning and income taxes.

Maygarden Jr. was a native and lifelong resident of Pensacola. Following service in the U.S. Navy during World War II and earning a bachelor’s degree in business at Mississippi College, he returned to Pensacola to lead a successful career in business and banking. Serving as a senior officer, director and advisor to numerous Florida banks and holding companies, he retired from Florida National Bank in 1984.

During his career, Maygarden Jr. maintained numerous professional affiliations. With concerns about the impact large amounts of debt can have on families and the broader community, he was instrumental in establishing Consumer Credit Counseling Services of West Florida, Inc. While serving as chairman, president and CEO of the Consumer Credit Counseling Services of West Florida, Inc. Maygarden Jr. advocated for sound borrowing practices and lending restraints.

The core advisory board for the Center was named, and met for the first time on May 3. Board members include Pam Hatt, vice president of marketing for Pen Air Federal Credit Union; Mark Harden, director of the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society; Dr. Ed Ranelli, director of the UWF Center for Entrepreneurship; and Jerry Maygarden, former mayor and state legislator, all of whom are on the board of directors of the donor organization — Consumer Credit Counseling of West Florida, Inc. Dr. Tim O’Keefe, dean of the UWF College of Business, rounds out the present five-member board.

“Our plans are to expand the advisory board to include additional area financial professionals as we begin to operationalize the center,” O’Keefe said.

Jerry Maygarden is the son of the late Maygarden Jr. whom the financial literacy center is being named in honor of.

“I am honored to be a part of the new L.A. Maygarden Center to help carry on the legacy of community service exemplified by my dad,” shares Jerry Maygarden.

For more information about the UWF College of Business, visit