ATLANTA — The Georgia Historical Society has recognized SunTrust as the latest honoree in the Georgia Business History Initiative with the dedication of a new historical marker in downtown Atlanta.
Each year, the GHS initiative recognizes iconic companies in the state to teach Georgia students, citizens and tourists alike about the pivotal role of the state’s leading businesses in the economic, cultural, and social development of Georgia and the United States.
“For nearly 130 years, SunTrust has served as ‘Georgia’s Bank.’ As such, it helped to finance the remarkable growth enjoyed by the state and the city of Atlanta during the 20th and early 21st centuries,” said W. Todd Groce, president and CEO of the Georgia Historical Society. “As the bank prepares to begin a new chapter under a new name, the Georgia Historical Society is pleased to be able to tell the story of this iconic institution. Through the GHS Business History Initiative, middle school students and the public will gain a deeper understanding of the key role that SunTrust and banking have played in creating the world we live in today.”
In addition to Groce, speakers for the dedication included William H. Rogers Jr., chairman and CEO of SunTrust Banks Inc.; Alston D. “Pete” Correll, chairman of the Board of Grady Health Foundation and a member of the board of curators of the Georgia Historical Society; and Jenna Kelly, president of the Georgia Division SunTrust Banks Inc.
“This is an extraordinary day in the remarkable history of SunTrust as we commemorate and celebrate the special relationship between our company and this great city and state through the dedication of a Georgia Historical marker,” Bill Rogers, chairman and CEO of SunTrust Banks Inc., said at the ceremony. “Back in 1893, SunTrust predecessor, Commercial Travelers’ Savings Bank, changed its name to Trust Company of Georgia and moved into the Southeast’s first ‘skyscraper’ – located right here at this very corner. That is why this specific location is so important for this historical marker.”
In addition to the new historical marker, the Georgia Historical Society has compiled a case study outlining the history of the company from the founding of The Commercial Travelers’ Savings Bank through the 2019 announcement of the merger with BB&T Corp of North Carolina. Through these educational materials, available online at GeorgiaHistory.com, students can learn about SunTrust and its role in Georgia and American History for generations to come.
The marker is located at the site of its historic 1893 headquarters at 25 Park Place NE in Atlanta.
The marker reads:
SunTrust Bank played a key role in the New South’s economic growth in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries and became the largest bank headquartered in Georgia. In 1891 the Georgia General Assembly chartered the Commercial Travelers’ Savings Bank in Atlanta. In 1893 the renamed Trust Company of Georgia moved into the South’s first “skyscraper” located at this site. Ernest Woodruff became president of Trust Company in 1904, and under his leadership the company orchestrated a series of mergers that secured the bank’s position as Georgia’s leading financial institution. In 1919 Trust Company provided underwriting services to the Coca-Cola Company, and the two institutions drove Georgia’s economic growth in the mid-twentieth century. In 1985 Trust Company merged with SunBanks Inc., becoming SunTrust Bank. In 2019 SunTrust merged with BB&T to create Charlotte, N.C.-Based Truist Financial Corporation.
Erected by the Georgia Historical Society and SunTrust Bank