Hall of  

Wayland H. Cato, Jr. (1923 -  )
Inducted 2004
     Wayland Cato Sr. (1893-1974) had managed stores in Georgia and South Carolina for United Merchants and Manufacturers. Wayland Cato Jr. was born in 1923 in Ridge Spring, SC.

 Junior Achievement
   After finishing his college degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1944, Wayland H. Cato Jr. joined the U. S. Navy on a minesweeper during the closing year of World War II.
   After the war, he joined his father and brother to found a women’s clothing store in 1946. The family then relocated from Augusta, Georgia, to Charlotte, North Carolina.
   Within two years, Wayland and his father had built a seven-store chain of women's clothing stores, primarily in small towns, such as Sumter and Mullins, SC.
   By 1949, the Charlotte-based company passed $1 million in sales.
   In 1960, Wayland Cato Jr. became president and in 1968, chief executive officer of the company. In 1970, he also was named chairman. Wayland stepped down as president & CEO in 1997, and then retired as chairman of Cato Clothing Stores in 2003. The company had more than 1,000 stores in 26 states and annual sales revenues of nearly $800 million. The Cato Corporation operates Cato and It's Fashion clothing stores.
   A long-time support or the UNC-Charlotte, Cato was recognized for his many contributions by an endowed graduate fellowship program to be known as the “Wayland H. Cato Jr. Endowed Fellowship Fund” for outstanding doctoral students, as well as the new UNCC Admissions Building named in his honor. A former member of the UNC Charlotte Foundation Board, Cato received a Doctor of Humane Letters honorary degree in 2000 from UNC Charlotte.
   In 2005, Central Piedmont Community College renamed the Northeast Campus the Cato Campus in honor of Wayland Cato Jr., a longtime supporter of the that college.
   He married Margaret Catherine Boutt in 1946. She died in 1963.
   In 1992, Cato Jr. bought and restored a historic home in Charleston and in 1998 married Marion Rivers Ravenel. For more than a decade, he has been deeply engaged in Charleston’s cultural and civic life.


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