One stop during a four-week excursion through eight Western European countries turned into a makeshift memorial at the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial outside Munich, Germany.

Eighty students participated in the Marketing Study Abroad Program. It was led by Steve McDaniel, professor of marketing, and Chuck Tomkovick, visiting professor of marketing at Texas A&M.

Dachau, the first German concentration camp and the model for others, was particularly memorable to Lt. Col. Fred B. Machol, part of the U.S. Army forces that entered the camp the second day of its liberation. Machol’s granddaughter Lauren Machol, a marketing major, read some of the words he had written some 65 years earlier, then laid flowers at the site. Victoria Acuff, Lulu Chen, Skylar Collins and Rocky LaRoche shared their research on the topic, and Collins gave a moving tribute to the thousands who had died there.

“I saw more than I can forget,” Lt. Col. Machol wrote. Those young travelers understand.

Victoria Acuff read portions of an account written by a classmate's grandfather who was part of the liberating force at Dachau.
Victoria Acuff read portions of an account written by a classmate’s grandfather who was part of the liberating force at Dachau.

Prior to the visit a team of four students researched, wrote a report and gave a presentation on Dachau to the entire study-abroad group. The four students are Victoria Acuff, Lulu Chen, Skylar Collins, and Rocky LaRoche. For the oral presentation to the other students, the Dachau student team enlisted Lauren Machol to describe her grandfather’s experience there during World War II. Her grandfather, Lt. Col. Fred B. Machol, was part of the U.S. Army forces that entered Dachau after its liberation.

The Dachau student team took up donations from the study-abroad students for flowers and raised over $100. They purchased a flower arrangement and laid it at the base of the Dachau International Monument as a memorial tribute from Texas A&M University to the thousands of people who died there. Skylar Collins served as spokesperson for the students and, in a solemn ceremony, gave a tribute to the victims.

Lauren Machol laid a bouquet of flowers as a tribute to her grandfather, who died just a few months before the trip. She included a photograph of him taken during the time of his Army service.

(L to R) Rocky LaRoche, Victoria Acuff, Skylar Collins and Lulu Chen present a memorial wreath on behalf of Texas A&M.
(L to R) Rocky LaRoche, Victoria Acuff, Skylar Collins and Lulu Chen present a memorial wreath on behalf of Texas A&M.

McDaniel says it was a very emotional time as the students laid the wreath and as Collins made her presentation. “I was so proud of our Marketing Study Abroad students for all chipping in money to buy the flowers,” he says. “I had to wipe tears from my eyes during the student team’s presentation to our group the day before and also at the site. I was touched by the reverence shown by our students. They truly wanted to honor all those who died at Dachau and in the Holocaust.”

• • • • •

Collins, a graduate student in sports management who received a bachelor’s degree in marketing, calls the visit to Dachau “a surreal experience.” She describes the visit:

To walk the grounds of the first concentration camp, the camp that served as a model for places where so many innocent people lost their lives, was indescribable.

As I walked through the camp, enclosed by the fences, I could feel a presence in the place. I can feel the heaviness of the tragedies and atrocities that occurred in this place. Pictures of some of the prisoners hung in the main building, with descriptions of why they were there hanging below them. They were there because they were a political opponent, Jewish, a Gypsy, homosexual, etc. These were people that we are surrounded by daily. They were taken from their families, stripped of their possessions, and ruthlessly tortured and murdered because they were different.

The most chilling experience that day came when we walked over to Barrack X, or the gas chamber. The original gas chamber was still standing, but as the number of prisoners grew, a second, bigger gas chamber had to be built. When I first walked into this building, my heart and stomach dropped. I could feel a weight just land on my shoulders. I couldn’t help but think about the number of people who had lost their lives in this very place where I was standing at that moment. The crematorium was in the room right next to the gas chamber. The ovens were still in the room. Plaques on the wall described how multiple bodies were stuffed in this oven. They burned nonstop day and night.

Prisoners at the camp were made to burn the bodies of their fellow prisoners and clean out their ashes. Some they knew, some they didn’t. Either way, I couldn’t imagine having to do that – wondering if the next day it would be my body that is being crammed in this oven, never to return home and be buried by family? On the walls of the crematorium were pictures of bodies piled on top of each other in that very room I stood in. They hadn’t had time to burn all of them before the liberating troops took control of the camp. I can’t even begin to imagine what these people endured while at these camps. It was an experience I will never forget, and one I’m glad I got to have.

Categories: Students

Financial Times rankingsThe Full-Time MBA program at Mays Business School at Texas A&M University is ranked #7 among U.S. public universities in the 2012 Financial Times rankings. This is the third straight year the program has ranked in the top 10 among public programs by Financial Times.

The Texas A&M Full-Time MBA placed at #51 overall in the world (down from #44 last year) and at #24 among U.S. programs (down from #21 last year). Since 2007, the Mays program has risen 34 places in the Financial Times MBA ranking.

The program remains ranked as #1 in “Value for the Money” among U.S.-based programs, and moved up 4 places to #4 among all programs globally in the category. This designation indicates Mays graduates recover the cost of their degrees with post-graduation salary increases faster than graduates of any other public U.S. programs. The program has ranked #1 in this category for the past three Financial Times rankings.

In other categories, the Mays program is:

  • Ranked 2nd among U.S. public schools and tied for 7th among U.S. schools in “Employment at Three Months”
  • Ranked 1st among U.S. public schools and 6th among U.S. schools in “Aims Achieved” (defined as: The extent to which alumni fulfilled their most important goals or reasons for undertaking an MBA)
  • Ranked 2nd among U.S. and U.S. public schools in “Salary Percentage Increase” (defined as: The percentage increase in average alumni salary from before the MBA to today as a percentage of the pre-MBA salary)

Kelli Kilpatrick, director of the MBA program at Texas A&M, says the ranking places Mays among the most elite MBA programs in the world — “a tremendous accomplishment and, in my view, well-deserved recognition for our program.” The Full-Time MBA program broke into the Financial Times‘ top 10 U.S. public programs in 2010.

Kilpatrick says this acknowledgement reflects Mays Business School’s dedication to excellence. “Our success in this ranking indicates the quality of our students and faculty. We strive to recruit the very best students and provide them with a high-quality experience, both inside and outside the classroom.”

“We are committed to ensuring our MBA students leave with the skills and abilities needed to be successful business leaders and manage their careers for a lifetime. The success of our graduates reflects well on our program, which helps us continue the cycle of producing high quality business leaders,” Kilpatrick explained.

For more information, contact Kelli Kilpatrick at or (979) 845-4714.

Categories: Programs

“I may not be good with talking about myself, but if there’s two things you can get John Hollowell to talk about for hours, it’s about how proud I am to be an Aggie, and how proud I am to work at Shell,” John Hollowell ’79 told Mays Business School students in a recent lecture and small-group discussion.

The executive vice president for Shell Deep Water says Texas A&M taught him three things: How to work hard, how to relate with people and how to solve problems. “I owe this place a lot,” Hollowell says, crediting his Aggie education for propelling him to his current success.

“You can’t afford to make a mistake in this industry,” says Shell Deep Water EVP John Hollowell ’79. “You have one opportunity to touch base with the customer.” (view more photos)

After graduating in 1979 with a chemical engineering degree, Hollowell went to work with Shell as an engineer. Moving up the ranks to his current position, he is celebrating 32 years with Shell this year and claims he’s “never had a reason to leave … Shell has great people and challenging, yet rewarding assignments.”

The multinational oil company currently employs 93,000 people in 93 different countries. Hollowell flew in from his 37th country the night prior to his visit to Mays.

Hollowell says the oil and gas industry is unique — it’s a volatile business with strategies dependent on the shifting external environment. For instance, the issues surrounding the oil and gas industry were once “How deep can we drill?” and “Do we have the technology to support our execution strategy?” Now the questions are “Can our company coexist with the culture in this country?” and “How do we find favor in the eyes of the media?” In other words, the focus has shifted from technical to non-technical issues, Hollowell observed.

The oil and gas industry walks a fine line every day. “You can’t afford to make a mistake in this industry,” he says. “It’s like adding my daughter on Facebook — if I break the rules and post on her wall or respond to a status update, I lose my right to be her Facebook friend.”

Shell works “doubly hard” on its reputation, Hollowell says. “For customers, truth doesn’t matter. Their perception of your company is truth.” For this reason, whenever Hollowell is filling up his car at a Shell station and there’s a plastic bag over one of the pumps, he personally apologizes to each customer at the station. “You have one opportunity to touch base with the customer. If there’s a bag over the pump, you just lost that opportunity.” He adds that the customer “doesn’t care about the complex scheduling issues surrounding the closed pump — they just want to fill up their car.”

Hollowell also chimed in about the 2010 BP oil spill, calling it “a time to lock arms with other companies.” In fact, Shell hosted several BP employees in their deep-water training facility when BP management had to relocate and work out of New Orleans. All BP meetings, nationally broadcasted interviews, and housing over a five-month span were based out of Shell facilities.

After the oil spill, Shell had one goal in mind: be the first company to regain its permit for drilling. Not only did Shell succeed in this goal, they are currently recovering revoked permits 20-40 percent faster than competition. “How do we do it?” Hollowell asks. “We focus on the non-technical areas of advocacy, above-ground risks, and industry initiative.”

In his 32 years at Shell, Hollowell has learned how to lead. He describes himself as a “technigeek” who had to learn finance mid-career, and claims that “companies who win in a volatile world mesh “technigeeks’ and business people.”

He says running a company is like driving a truck: “You’re going to get in a ditch sometimes. The mark of a good leader is to have people working for you that jump out of the truck and start pushing it out of the ditch before you ask them to.”

For him, good leadership stems from three principles: Gaining trust; “Getting in the mud” with those under you; and leading from the heart, rather than the head. “You won’t make it if you don’t capture hearts.”

Categories: Executive Speakers, Former Students

In an era of soaring medical costs, providing health care to employees at or near their workplace is gaining new momentum, according to an article in the Winter 2012 issue of MIT Sloan Management Review.

A 2011 study by the professional-services company Towers Watson and the nonprofit National Business Group on Health found that 23 percent of the mid-sized and large U.S. employers they surveyed had on-site health clinics and that another 12 percent planned to establish an on-site clinic in 2012.

Leonard Berry

Companies ranging in size from Fortune’s “Best Company to Work For” winner, SAS Institute, to privately held Rosen Hotels & Resorts report that onsite employee healthcare saves millions in health care spending while improving employee health and satisfaction.

Motivated by rising costs and commitment to their staff’s health and productivity, many companies are taking matters into their own hands, according to the article. In this so-called “do-it-yourself” health care, some firms operate clinics with their own employees, including doctors and nurses, while others contract with outside organizations for clinical management and staff.

The entire article, “Do-It-Yourself” Employee Health Care,” is available on the MIT Sloan Management Review website. The article was authored by:

Ann M. Mirabito, Ph.D., assistant professor of marketing at the Hankamer School of Business at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. Her research focuses on health care, where she has explored ways stakeholders can act to improve outcomes and value. Her work has appeared in Harvard Business Review and medical journals including Annals of Internal Medicine and Mayo Clinic Proceedings. She has extensive executive responsibility in large (Frito-Lay, Time Warner) and small organizations, consumer and business-to- business and nonprofit and government (Federal Reserve Board).

Leonard L. Berry, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Marketing, and M.B. Zale Chair in Retailing and Marketing Leadership in the Mays Business School at Texas A&M University. He is also professor of humanities in medicine in the College of Medicine at The Texas A&M University System Health Science Center. He has served as a visiting scientist at Mayo Clinic studying health care service and is a former national president of the American Marketing Association. Berry co-authored the book, “Management Lessons from Mayo Clinic.”

Gale Adcock, M.S.N., R.N., director of corporate health services at SAS Institute Inc., in Cary, N.C. She also serves as a consulting associate faculty member for Duke University and is an adjunct associate professor at the University of North Carolina — Chapel Hill. She received her Diploma in Nursing from Virginia Baptist Hospital, her BSN from East Carolina University, and her MSN & Family Nurse Practitioner Certificate from the University of North Carolina — Chapel Hill.

About Baylor University

Baylor University is a private Christian university and a nationally ranked research institution, classified as such with “high research activity” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. The university provides a vibrant campus community for approximately 15,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating university in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 80 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 11 nationally recognized academic divisions.

About Texas A&M University

Opened in 1876 as Texas’ first public institution of higher learning, Texas A&M University is a research-intensive flagship university with approximately 50,000 students — including 9,000+ graduate students — studying in over 250 degree programs in 10 colleges. Students can join any of 800 student organizations and countless activities ranging from athletics and recreation to professional and community service events.

About SAS

SAS is the leader in business analytics software and services, and the largest independent vendor in the business intelligence market. Through innovative solutions, SAS helps customers at more than 55,000 sites improve performance and deliver value by making better decisions faster. Since 1976 SAS has been giving customers around the world THE POWER TO KNOW®.

Categories: Faculty, Research Notes

Richard Hanus ’76 honored his late father by creating a scholarship to benefit the accounting department at Mays Business School. The Houston resident donated $25,000 toward establishing the Lawrence Hanus Memorial Scholarship in Accounting at Mays.

Richard Hanus says he appreciated the opportunity to honor his father. “I liked the “permanence’ of establishing an endowment in my dad’s name, and wished to credit him with some of my achievements,” he says. “He taught me fiscal discipline, conservatism, and doing more than is required to create value, which has served my firm and clients well.”

Richard Hanus ’76 (pictured here with his wife, Donna) honored his late father, Lawrence Hanus, by creating a scholarship to benefit the accounting department. “He would really enjoy what the scholarship does to foster individual development and growth,” Richard says.

Lawrence Hanus taught an accounting/bookkeeping course at McKenzie/Baldwin Business School in Bryan in the 1950s and assisted others in tax return preparation. “He was always focused on doing things right and being precise,” his son says. “Dad also encouraged education and made sacrifices with mom to ensure my brother, sister and I received a good education. All three of us and several of our children have received degrees from Texas A&M, with others still in progress. He would really enjoy what the scholarship does to foster individual development and growth.”

Richard has served on the Accounting Advisory Council spanning a number of years. And, as a partner at Ernst & Young, he and his wife Donna have supported corporate gifts and endowments through its matching gifts program. Donna and Richard believe in supporting education and are currently recognized as members of the A&M Legacy Society. “This was an opportunity to do something above and beyond the E&Y programs to benefit the department and give some recognition to a key influencer,” he says.

Mays Dean Jerry Strawser says the accounting program has been “hugely successful because of the passion and support of former students like Richard … He has given back to this program through his time, energy and financial resources to make it among the nation’s elite.”

James Benjamin, accounting professor and department head, said Richard Hanus was in the first group of students he taught when he arrived at Texas A&M. “I remember him as a dedicated student with a genuine personality,” Benjamin says. “He had a quiet sense of humor and seemed to be well-liked by his classmates. Those traits do not seem to have changed over time.”

Benjamin says he kept up with Hanus from early in his career, and has not been surprised with his success in public accounting and his accomplishments in life. “He has been a very effective auditor and he is now a leader in his firm in advising other partners on technical accounting issues,” he says.

Hanus became an advocate for Texas A&M early in his career with Ernst & Young, Benjamin recalls. In the early 1980s, Hanus and an Ernst & Young partner (who was not an Aggie) convinced the firm leadership to commit to funding one of the first few professorships in the business school. He was also involved in the subsequent funding of several other E&Y endowments in support of the accounting program.

“Richard understands the importance of scholarship support for our students and he has assured me that he plans to add to the endowment over time,” Benjamin says. “I really appreciate the impact that Richard has had on our program through his advice and financial support, and I have also been fortunate to have him as a friend.”

Categories: Donors Corner, Former Students

An endowed scholarship has been created to honor Roy G. Martin Jr. ’76, the driving force behind the Real Estate Center’s most popular seminar, the annual Legal Seminar on Ad Valorem Taxation.

With initial funding of $25,000 from the center, the endowment fund grew to $68,000 in less than a month. The endowment will generate scholarships for students enrolled in the Master of Real Estate program at Mays Business School.

Martin, a 1979 graduate of the program, is the senior vice president for ad valorem tax at Valero Energy.

“Through Roy’s energy and vision, there has been a transformation of Texas property tax practices,” says Richard Floyd, former center director and conference co-organizer. “Roy is an extremely humble man who much prefers to promote the accomplishments of others. This scholarship recognizes his consistent and relentless efforts to promote professionalism through education. It is a fitting legacy to his efforts.”

Mays dean Jerry Strawser said the Roy G. Martin, Jr. Endowed Scholarship “is a wonderful example of the partnership between the Real Estate Center and our academic programs … The center’s activities and outreach provide a unique platform for our students and faculty and enhance the quality of our programs and graduates.”

Gary Maler, director of the Real Estate Center, says Martin is deeply respected by other professionals in the property tax field for his expertise and prowess as a tough negotiator. “Martin’s energy and contacts make the Real Estate Center’s largest seminar by attendance (the Legal Seminar on Ad Valorem Taxation) a possibility,” Maler explains. The scholarship was announced at the 25th annual seminar in San Antonio, which had 600 attendees.

Maler calls the seminar “Roy’s brainchild,” and says it is unique in that it “combines in one room the assessors imposing the taxes as well as corporate tax representatives, tax professionals and attorneys representing the entities being taxed … The equitable interchange of what might seem to be conflicting points of view and interests actually makes for the most innovative and informative program of its kind anywhere in the country.”

Maler added that, given Martin’s contributions to the property tax field and to the Real Estate Center, it was fitting for the center to honor him by endowing and naming a scholarship for him. “The immediate and generous financial contributions of Roy’s friends will enable scholarships to be offered to students in the Master of Real Estate Program in the first year of the scholarship’s existence,” Maler says. “Scholarships and the funds they generate are key to attracting and retaining students in one of the nation’s leading graduate level real estate programs. It is also an important way the Center supports the academic mission of Mays Business School.”

Categories: Centers, Donors Corner