Quest for a college – Catholic school on tap for Georgia

High-tech entrepreneur Tom Clements hopes to create Georgia’s first Catholic college, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Clements — who in April sold software-maker Conduit Inc. in Norcross, Ga., for $70 milllion – is contributing the first $1 million and is trying to raise $105 million more to cover startup costs, land purchases, construction of two buildings and operating costs for the first two years, the Journal reports.

He hopes the school can open in the fall of 2001 with 100 students and eventually could grow to 3,000 students.

Clements is a native of Minnesota and a graduate of Notre Dame.

North Georgia, which is part of the Archdiocese of Atlanta, last year had 311,000 registered Catholics, up from 99,000 in 1980.

Yet the nearest Catholic colleges are Belmont Abbey near Charlotte, N.C., and Acquinas College in Nashville – each about a four-hour drive from Atlanta.

Clements has worked on plans for the college since selling his company in April. He made $9 million on the sale.

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