The McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship at Mays Business School reflects the values of excellence revered by its namesake – Artie McFerrin, a long-time supporter of Texas A&M University and the name behind the $10 million gift that secured the center’s future.

An intimate group that included Artie McFerrin’s wife Dorothy, their daughter Jennifer, and a gathering of family, friends and university leaders attended a recent reception to celebrate the official naming of the center. The event at the Founders Club at Kyle Field served as a tribute to Artie McFerrin, and a thank-you to his family, who have supported Texas A&M for years.

Dorothy and Artie McFerrin Jr. ’65 (2016 photo)

“If you strive for success, if you dream of venturing into the unknown and emerging smarter and stronger, if you want to grow yourself so you can grow others, you not only have a place to go, but also a name forever attached to it,” Tyson Voelkel, president of the Texas A&M Foundation, said at the event.

The center, which serves more than 3,000 students and more than 1,000 former students through 27 programs, is an international leader in entrepreneurial education. It aims to enhance entrepreneurial student education by providing training, networking, and assistance to enterprising students, faculty and alumni. With the support of a volunteer network, corporate supporters, faculty, and staff, the McFerrin Center has been able to provide business start-up acceleration, competitive opportunities, work experiences, and financial support to aspiring entrepreneurs in the Aggie community and across the world.

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Categories: Centers, Dean Eli Jones, Donors Corner, Featured Stories, Management, Mays Business, McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship, News, Programs, Selfless service, Startup Aggieland, Texas A&M

To honor the Mays students who received scholarships for the 2017-2018 academic school year and thank their generous donors, Mays Business School hosted the 2017 Scholarship Banquet Nov. 2 in the Hall of Champions at Kyle Field.

More than 700 scholarships totaling more than $5 million were given to Mays students for the fiscal year 2017. Mays donors support a total endowment of more than $22 million.

The night started with a welcome reception, providing students the chance to formally introduce themselves to their donors, peers, and Mays faculty and staff members. These introductions turned into in-depth conversations during dinner – discussions about the impact attending Mays and receiving a scholarship has had on the students’ education at Texas A&M University.

Spencer Sullivan ’18, a student who is graduating with a finance degree in December, has benefitted from the Gary Neale Reger Scholarship Fund/CED for his entire college career. He said the financial support has allowed him to concentrate on his studies and pursue immersive study-abroad opportunities. …Read more

Categories: Dean Eli Jones, Donors Corner, Mays Business, News, Spotlights, Students, Texas A&M

By Texas A&M Foundation

The Texas A&M Foundation has received two lead gifts totaling $4 million in a $10 million fundraising campaign to name the Department of Accounting in honor of James J. Benjamin in Mays Business School at Texas A&M University. David Baggett, a 1981 graduate of the university with a degree in accounting, and his wife Denise have committed $2 million to the campaign. Ernst & Young has also committed a gift of the same amount. Both gifts will be endowed to support the needs of the department and to ensure its future growth.

The idea to name the Department of Accounting resulted after discussions between Mays Business School, David Baggett and Ernst & Young partner, T. Randall “Randy” Cain, a 1982 graduate from the accounting program and a Texas A&M Foundation trustee. James Benjamin was presented as a worthwhile namesake for the department because of his decades-long commitment to students. The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents recently approved the naming of the James J. Benjamin Department of Accounting.

“The Department of Accounting at Texas A&M is one of the leading accounting programs in the United States, largely due to Dr. Jim Benjamin’s leadership over 35 years as department head,” said Eli Jones, dean of Mays Business School. “In recognition of his extraordinary leadership and selfless service, former students David Baggett ’81 and Randy Cain ’82 have co-led the fundraising effort to name the department in honor of Dr. Benjamin. This funding will help sustain efforts in the department to maintain its national prominence in accounting research and teaching.”

The campaign to name the Department of Accounting is intended to enhance the visibility of the department and provide young people in the field additional opportunities to explore the accounting profession. In addition, the endowment will allow the department to recruit outstanding faculty, develop international opportunities for students to learn global accounting practices, and support high-impact educational programs, such as the Professional Program and the Energy Accounting Program.

Benjamin is the Deloitte Foundation Leadership Professor and head of the accounting department. He joined the faculty at Texas A&M in 1974 and has served as department head since 1982. After attaining his undergraduate degree and CPA license, he received his M.B.A. and DBA degrees from Indiana University. He previously served as the Ph.D. coordinator for Mays Business School and director of the school’s honors program.

“Over the past almost four decades, Jim Benjamin has been a driving force in the transformation of our business school,” said David Baggett. “When I came to Texas A&M in 1979, we were known largely as an engineering and agricultural school.” Today, some 38 years later, the Mays Business School undergraduate accounting program is consistently recognized in the top 10 among public universities, while the bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. programs made Public Accounting Report’s top 10 list for 2017.

“With Jim’s personality, business savvy and leadership skills, he would have been very successful in the corporate world,” added Baggett. “Fortunately for me and thousands of other accounting and business graduates, Jim dedicated himself to our success.”

“We are excited to be part of this effort to name the accounting department after Dr. Jim Benjamin and know the resulting endowment will serve future students for decades to come,” said Denise Baggett.

Half of the Baggetts’ contribution to the accounting program campaign will create a matching gift fund to encourage other donors to contribute to the cause.

“At Ernst & Young we are a purpose-driven organization focused on building a better working world,” said Cain. “When I think of Texas A&M, I can’t think of a better place to invest when we’re trying to live our purpose. Students come out with a set of instilled values, and this marries up with the EY purpose. You have to give credit to Jim Benjamin, who has been an extraordinary visionary in the world of accounting education.”

In addition to the two lead gifts to the campaign, Mays Business School has also received commitments from KPMG LLP, Deloitte, Karen Pape ’80, Karen and Rodney Faldyn ’88, Becky ’76 and Monty Davis ’77, Lina and Kenny Lawson, Marian ’82 and Willie Langston ’81, Wanda and Lou Paletta ’78, and Kay ’02 and Jerry Cox ’72, Tracy and Randy Hale ’85, and Mark Kelly ’79. Combined, these pledges, along with other commitments, total nearly $7.5 million.

“I was humbled and honored when I learned of the initiative to name the Department of Accounting,” said Benjamin. “While I have been gratified to be a part of the growth and success of the accounting program, I have always recognized that our growing reputation was a product of exceptional students and talented and dedicated faculty. I have been truly blessed to be surrounded by such great students, faculty and former students throughout my career.”

All gifts toward the James J. Benjamin Department of Accounting naming also count toward the Texas A&M “Lead by Example” campaign, which aims to raise $4 billion by the year 2020. If you wish to make an endowed gift of $25,000 or more to support the naming initiative, contact Brian Bishop at (979) 862-3615 or bbishop@txamfoundation.com. You can also contribute non-endowed gifts online at give.am/JamesBenjamin.

Mays Business School

Mays Business School’s vision is to advance the world’s prosperity. Their mission is to provide a vibrant learning organization that creates impactful knowledge and develops transformational leaders. Mays Business School educates more than 6,200 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in accounting, finance, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its programs and faculty research.

Texas A&M Foundation 

The Texas A&M Foundation is a nonprofit organization that unites generosity and vision to raise and manage major endowed gifts that support the future of Texas A&M University. For additional information and for photographs, please contact Dunae Crenwelge at dcrenwelge@txamfoundation.com or (979) 845-7461.

“Lead by Example” Campaign

Launched in 2015, Texas A&M University’s third comprehensive fundraising campaign, “Lead by Example,” is a joint effort between Texas A&M and its affiliate organizations: the Texas A&M Foundation, The Association of Former Students, the 12th Man Foundation and the George Bush Presidential Library Foundation. With a goal of reaching $4 billion by 2020, it is the largest higher education campaign in Texas history and the third largest conducted nationally by a public university. The campaign will generate gifts in three major areas: Transformational Education; Discovery and Innovation; and Impact on the State, Nation and World.

For more information about the campaign, visit leadbyexample.tamu.edu.

 

Categories: Accounting, Alumni, Departments, Donors Corner, Faculty, Featured Stories, Former Students, Mays Business, News, Texas A&M

By Dunae Crenwelge, The Texas A&M Foundation

The Texas A&M Foundation has received commitments of $3 million from the Mays Family Foundation and $2.6 million from the Charles Koch Foundation to establish the Mays Innovation Research Center within the Mays Business School at Texas A&M University.

With these contributions, both foundations continue their legacy of philanthropy at Texas A&M. In 2017, the Mays Family Foundation has given a record $25 million in support of Mays Business School, bringing its lifetime contributions to more than $50 million. This contribution marks the first gift from the Koch Foundation to Mays Business School, although the organization has supported other endeavors at Texas A&M.

Drawing from academic disciplines across the Texas A&M campus, the center will examine the nature of innovation. Research at the center will focus on how innovation advances human potential; the essential conditions necessary for innovation to flourish; how innovation spreads; and the social, economic and legal frameworks necessary to support innovation. Many traditional university innovation centers focus on teaching the history, theory, and practice of innovation. By contrast, the center is a research-oriented academic center that will engage in the study of innovation to advance knowledge in this important field.

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Categories: Centers, Donors Corner, Featured Stories, Mays Business, News, Texas A&M

By Dorian Martin ’06, The Texas A&M Foundation

The entrepreneurial spirit of longtime Texas A&M University benefactor Arthur “Artie” McFerrin Jr. will continue to inspire future generations of Aggies through the renaming of Mays Business School’s Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship (CNVE) in his honor.

McFerrin, who passed away Aug. 8 after a long battle with leukemia, consistently supported Texas A&M’s academic and athletic programs with major gifts. The 1965 graduate of Texas A&M University is the namesake of the McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering, the McFerrin Athletic Center (the indoor football complex and track stadium) and the Cox-McFerrin Basketball Center.

“Widely known as one of the most generous, humble and understated leaders in business, Artie gave more in his life than he ever took,” said Texas A&M Foundation President Tyson Voelkel. “He set a standard few others will ever achieve as a man of character and conviction focused on the future. It is fitting that the newly renamed McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship will bear the name of someone so focused on giving others opportunities.”

The CNVE’s renaming was made possible through a $10 million gift from McFerrin and his wife, Dorothy. These funds will advance the center’s work as an international leader in entrepreneurial education. “We are truly grateful to the McFerrin family,” said Eli Jones, dean of Mays Business School. “Artie’s spirit lives on through the thousands of lives he has influenced and will continue to influence. His heart for Texas A&M and entrepreneurship beats in the hearts of those Aggies who choose to be courageous enough to create solutions to the world’s biggest problems—those who are indeed fearless.”

Dorothy and Artie McFerrin Jr. ’65

Funds will further help the center more effectively prepare aspiring entrepreneurs to succeed in a turbulent global economy. “Our goal is to create a state-of-the-art center that equips young people for starting and growing their ventures,” said Richard Lester, the center’s executive director. “With this support, we can expand our reach and impact while linking existing programs for a cohesive experience. More than grooming specific skills, we hope to train students to develop an entrepreneurial mindset: to believe they can achieve and not give up when the going gets tough.”

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Categories: Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship, Centers, Donors Corner, Entrepreneurship, Featured Stories, Management, Mays Business, News, Texas A&M

Peter and Lisa Currie of Houston have always cared deeply about the impact of business education and the dual practices of teaching and research. That’s why they established the first $3 million faculty chair at Mays Business School.

The Curries’ gift creates the Lisa Huddleston Currie ’85 and Peter H. Currie ’85 Chair in Business and helps fund faculty recruitment efforts at Mays.

An appointment to an endowed chair is one of the highest honors that can be bestowed on a faculty member. The highest level of performance in research, teaching and service, based on national and international standards, is required for such an appointment.

Gift agreements with donors may specify the criteria for a position; however, in the absence of such specification research and publication will be given primary consideration.

Peter Currie received a bachelor’s degree in 1985 from the Department of Management at the business school. Lisa Currie received a degree in 1985 in educational curriculum and instruction.

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Categories: Alumni, Donors Corner, Faculty, Featured Stories, Management, Mays Business, News, Students, Texas A&M

Tips for the academic leader — and those who aspire to be one — on how to cultivate donors

Eli Jones, business dean at Texas A&M, speaks at a corporate-relations event. His advice regarding donors: “Get to know their hearts. What is it they’re intending to do?”

The Chronicle of Higher Education

Phil Bailey had a less than favorable idea of fund raising when he became dean of the College of Science and Mathematics at California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo in 1983, a time when the university was just starting to solicit donations. To him, asking donors for money seemed intrusive and unwanted, “like those calls you get while you’re trying to eat dinner.”

Fast forward more than three decades, and the long-serving dean has helped bring in millions of dollars to the college and the university, including a $110-million gift, announced this spring. It was the largest gift ever for the institution and the California State University system. …Read more

Categories: Dean Eli Jones, Donors Corner, Featured Stories, Mays Business, News, Texas A&M

 

By Monika Blackwell, Texas A&M Foundation
The Texas A&M Foundation Board of Trustees on Thursday recognized Alice and Erle Nye ’59, Susanne and Melbern Glasscock ’59, and Kay ’02 and Jerry Cox ’72 as recipients of the Sterling C. Evans Medal. The award is the Foundation’s highest honor.

Collectively, these couples have donated millions of dollars to scholarships, student development, faculty support, sports programs and academic innovation. They have also devoted their time to committees and boards that have shaped the recent course of Texas A&M University, ensuring its place in the top tier of national universities.
Recipients of the Evans Medal support Texas A&M through demonstrated philanthropy, volunteerism and leadership. Their devotion to Texas A&M and desire to motivate others to strengthen the university encapsulate the spirit of the medal’s namesake, Sterling C. Evans, who was a visionary among Aggie philanthropists.

For nearly two decades, the Foundation’s trustees have selected annual recipients of the award. To be selected, recipients must demonstrate a long-term commitment to Texas A&M.

“The three couples selected this year for this prestigious honor have each earned a seat at the table through their incredible generosity and selfless service to advancing Texas A&M,” said Bill Toler, chairman of the Texas A&M Foundation Board of Trustees. “This university is very lucky to have such passionate advocates as the Nyes, the Glasscocks and the Coxes.”

For a full list of recipients, visit txamfoundation.com/EvansMedal.

Alice and Erle Nye.

Alice and Erle Nye.

Alice and Erle Nye ’59
The love Alice and Erle feel for Texas A&M was passed down by their fathers, who were both Aggie veterinarians.

“Our parents were friends, so we’ve known each other a long time,” said Alice.

While Alice attended North Texas University for her teaching degree, Erle earned a Texas A&M degree in electrical engineering and a law degree from Southern Methodist University.

After receiving his education, Erle began an illustrious career in energy and utilities. In 2004, he retired as CEO of TXU Corp., the state’s largest publicly held utility company, and now serves as its chairman emeritus.

“I know I didn’t get here by myself. I know people helped me. If you see a turtle sitting on a fencepost, you know that turtle didn’t get up there by himself,” he said.

In recognition of Texas A&M’s role in his life, the Dallas-based Nyes began to give back to the university financially and with their time. Erle has served on a host of boards and committees, including the 12th Man Foundation Champions Council, the College of Engineering’s Advisory Council and the Corps of Cadets Development Committee. For 12 years, he also served as a regent for the university system. The couple has funded scholarships and contributed to building funds, such as the renovation of the Memorial Student Center.

In 2005, the Nyes created the Erle Nye ’59 Chair for Engineering Excellence in the College of Engineering. At $2 million, the endowment is one of the college’s largest for faculty.

The achievement that means the most to them, however, is the Alice and Erle Nye ’59 Academic Center, part of the Bright Football Complex. The 24-hour academic center provides tutors, learning labs, study areas and laptops for more than 600 student athletes on campus.

“People say we’re generous, but I say we’re just paying a debt,” Erle said. “I clearly benefited from a great education, and my experience at Texas A&M affected me and my family more profoundly than I can say. I feel we owe the university more than we can ever pay.”

Susanne and Melbern Glasscock.

Susanne and Melbern Glasscock.

Susanne and Melbern Glasscock ’59
As a recipient of a scholarship while at Texas A&M, Mel Glasscock understood first-hand how it felt to have someone else’s generosity influence his education. Because of this, the Glasscocks have focused on funding scholarships for students who are the first in their families to attend college, like Mel.

After serving in the Air Force, Mel began a career in the oil industry and eventually founded Texas Aromatics LP, a petrochemical marketing firm. He also served on the 12th Man Foundation Champions Council, the One Spirit One Vision campaign executive committee and the board of trustees for the Texas A&M Foundation

Because of the Houston couple’s interest in the humanities, they established the Melbern C. Glasscock Center for Humanities Research at Texas A&M, which awards grants and fellowships in the humanities and sponsors lecture series and other events. The Glasscocks believe the humanities are particularly important for engineering and science majors. They also created the Susanne M. Glasscock Humanities Book Prize for Interdisciplinary Scholarship, awarded annually to a U.S. faculty member who publishes a scholarly work in the humanities.

“The humanities lead us to think about why, not just the how,” said Susie. “Humanities make us human.”

The couple’s most recent gift to the university is the Texas A&M Foundation Trustees’ Outstanding Student Award. As he was finishing his term as a trustee for the Foundation, Mel created a fund that allows the trustees to annually award a graduating senior $2,500 as a boost for their next phase of life. Recipients are primarily judged on their achievements, but must have overcome personal or family financial challenges.

“Our lives have shown how education can set someone on a journey of friendship and achievement,” said Mel.

Kay ’02 and Jerry Cox

Kay ’02 and Jerry Cox

Kay ’02 and Jerry Cox ’72
Jerry Cox, former president of Cox & Perkins Exploration Inc., earned a bachelor’s in finance, following in the footsteps of his father Truman ’44, who played football at Texas A&M. When Kay attended Texas A&M for an advanced degree, she was driven by a family tradition and a powerful dream.

“Pure and simple, I wanted an Aggie ring,” she exclaimed. “I had always wanted to be an ‘official’ member of the Aggie family, and now I have that ’02 after my name. As an added benefit, I received the best master of science degree in educational psychology there is.”

As Jerry built his career—first as a financial analyst in New York and later as the founder and president of his own company, Cox & Perkins Exploration Inc.—the couple has faithfully given back to Texas A&M. Jerry is a past president of the 12th Man Foundation, a former co-chairman of the One Spirit One Vision campaign executive committee and a former trustee of the Texas A&M Foundation.

Jerry has also given support and counsel in searches for top administrative positions, from university president to head football coach. In addition, he is proud of his involvement with Breakaway, a non-denominational weekly Bible study group on Texas A&M’s campus.

While the Coxes’ efforts at Texas A&M have been broad, much of their impact can be seen at Mays Business School, where they have contributed generously and served countless volunteer hours. A fund to support the Business Honors Program gave a huge leg up to students in the program, and one of Mays’ buildings bears their name: The Jerry and Kay Cox Hall. Acknowledging the importance of strong faculty, the Houston couple also created the Jerry and Kay Cox Endowed Chair in the business school. He also serves on the Mays Dean’s Advisory Board.

“We don’t just want to move up in the rankings. We want to impact the business community,” said Jerry. “It’s not enough to just be successful in the business world. As Aggies, it’s not only our knowledge, but also our values and integrity that set us apart.”

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Categories: Alumni, Donors Corner, Featured Stories, Mays Business, News, Texas A&M

In support of Mays Business School at Texas A&M University, the Texas A&M Foundation has received a commitment of $25 million from the Mays Family Foundation, the largest single commitment in the school’s history. The gift is part of an overall lifetime giving of $47 million, including a $15 million commitment in 1996 that resulted in the school’s renaming to Mays Business School.


The $25 million contribution will develop students’ entrepreneurial capabilities through a new Lowry Mays Entrepreneurial Leadership Academy program with the Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship, and will support several areas of innovation in Mays Business School, including the proposed expansion of the school’s headquarters, the Wehner Building, and the school’s study abroad programs.

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Categories: Dean Eli Jones, Donors Corner, Featured Stories, Mays Business, News, Spotlights, Texas A&M

Mays Business School at Texas A&M University gave the inaugural Peggy and Lowry Mays Impact Award Thursday, April 6, to the namesakes of the award during the 25th-Year Anniversary Outstanding Alumni Awards Dinner.

The award was created to recognize outstanding contributions to the vision and mission of the school. Recipients must exhibit a long and distinguished record of impacting Mays Business School in significant ways, which include exemplary giving and strong leadership.

This year’s recipients are Peggy and Lowry Mays – the namesakes of the award and of the business school, which they have elevated to higher levels for several decades.

Lowry Mays, a 1957 graduate of Texas A&M’s business school, is the founder of Clear Channel Communications, and an avid supporter of Texas A&M. He has been actively engaged in advancing the quality of Texas A&M University. His service includes his appointment to The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents, where served two non-consecutive terms (1985 to 1991 and 2001 to 2007), including chairman from 2003 to 2005.

He and his wife Peggy have established The Mays Family Foundation to perpetuate their personal philanthropy.

Texas A&M University Michael K. Young said he is delighted to have the name Mays attached to Texas A&M’s business school. “Your contributions as a business leader really set the example of a transformational leader,” he said. “This award represents what we look for in our alumni.”

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Categories: Alumni, Dean Eli Jones, Donors Corner, Mays Business, News, Texas A&M