The Petroleum Ventures Program has kicked off its inaugural semester with 25 petroleum engineering students, several finance students and a 23-member advisory board.

The interdisciplinary partnership between the business and engineering schools at Texas A&M University started with a $12 million gift from Anthony Bahr ’91 and Jay Graham ’92, who gave $6 million each to the finance (FINC) and petroleum engineering (PETE) departments. The petroleum engineering graduates own WildHorse Resources in Houston. Their goal is to teach finance skills to PETE students and petroleum engineering skills to FINC students.

Anthony Bahr

Anthony Bahr

“I’d say we are off to a good start, and the advisory board members are excited at what is to come,” said Detlef Hallermann, a Mays Business School clinical professor who oversees the program. “What I am hearing from the board is that it’s been a long time coming. We’ve made the first step.  Now the board is going to help us look at what we are doing and provide direction for where we wish to go next.”

Students wrote multiple analytical analyses, reviewed by advisory board members prior to being  accepted into the program. Approximately 100 students attended the informational sessions and more than 60 students applied.

Princewill Imouokhome, a sophomore pursuing a bachelor’s in finance, said he was “immediately both interested and curious” about the program and the current state of the oil and gas industry’s impact on it. He applied because he wants to be involved in the energy industry.

“I saw an opportunity to gain both a competitive edge and to leave my comfort zone,” he said. “In my time in the program I have already seen a change in the way I see many things that a contingent upon the energy industry. I hope to gain knowledge, new perspectives on problem solving, and exposure to situations that force me to grow as an individual and a professional.”

Bahr said he is happy to hear about the popularity of the program. “I’m thrilled to welcome the inaugural class of business and engineering students into the Petroleum Ventures Program, and excited these students have made a significant commitment to their future careers in the energy business,” he said.

When fully implemented, the program will offer a Certificate in Petroleum Ventures for both PETE and FINC students. Hallermann is also director of the Trading, Risk & Investments Program (TRIP) and the Reliant Trading Center.

The program will have a profound impact on Mays at many levels, Hallermann said. It provides :

  • Increased visibility of Mays programs
  • Integration of engineering students in Mays undergraduate classes – mostly in finance, but also in other disciplines
  • Strategic importance
  • Groundwork for other programs

The advisory board’s first meeting is Oct. 6-7.

Categories: Centers, Departments, Donors Corner, Faculty, Featured Stories, Finance, Mays Business, News, Programs, Students, Texas A&M

Within Mays Business School at Texas A&M University resides the highly-ranked Master of Real Estate Program—a degree that comes with a nearly perfect 100 percent job placement record, access to industry leaders and automatic induction into the Aggie Real Estate Network, an alumni group that provides graduates with professional development opportunities.

The graduate program allows students to explore a variety of concentrations within the industry while gaining the fundamental knowledge of commercial real estate.

After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in finance from Texas A&M, Cydney C. Donnell ’81 was able to succeed in an industry she loves. Now, as director of real estate programs and an executive professor within the Department of Finance, Donnell has witnessed firsthand the booming success of the master’s program.

“Thirty-five years ago when I was a graduate, real estate in Texas was headed into a major oversupply. However, I entered the industry at a time when leaders wanted to prove that commercial real estate could be run ethically and professionally,” said Donnell. “I am so proud of the transformation of our industry and I want our students to become the new leaders of the revitalized real estate world.”

Donnell’s enthusiasm for the Master of Real Estate Program goes beyond words and sentiment. Recently, she gave $1 million to the Texas A&M Foundation to support the program’s teaching, research, service and professional development activities, with $750,000 earmarked for matching funds. She will double the value of future donations of $25,000 or more from the Cydney C. Donnell ’81 Faculty Fellowship.

Cydney FoundationAs a former member of the Texas A&M Foundation Investment Advisory Committee, Donnell has worked with the Foundation before. However, this time, she was able to ensure the future of the Master of Real Estate program within Mays and establish a lifelong legacy at Texas A&M.Two other graduates from Texas A&M—Preston Young ’02 and Malcolm Stewart ’73—are also supporting the program with major gifts.

Young, a regional managing partner for Stream Realty Partners, committed $100,000, while Stewart, chief operating officer at Camden Property Trust, established a fund with an additional $100,000 toward the program. Both gifts will be matched with a $100,000 gift from the Cydney C. Donnell ’81 Faculty Fellowship.

Originating 45 years ago in the agricultural economics department, the program has grown in size, recognition and popularity. Since then, it has migrated to the Department of Finance at Mays Business School, developed a diverse course structure, and formed an advisory board of real estate professionals.

Graduates go to work in a variety of careers, from real estate development to lending and capital markets. All leave with enhanced knowledge of finance, real estate law, economics, market analysis and negotiation.

“If Mays wants to excel and provide the best education for our students, we have to offer more: specialized degrees, program enhancements and affordable tuition,” said Donnell. “These funds allow us to enhance a student’s educational opportunities by bringing industry leaders into the classroom, sending students to attend industry events or allowing them to participate in competitions.

What everyone should understand when donating to Texas A&M University is that all funding ultimately helps bring a top-notch educational experience to our students at an affordable cost. My Texas A&M education prepared me for success in the real estate market and I hope to bring the same opportunity to these young people in our program.”

By Ashley Wagner ‘18

Categories: Alumni, Departments, Donors Corner, Mays Business, News, Real Estate, Texas A&M

BENEFACTOR Preston Young

Preston Young ’02 enjoys coming back to visit his alma mater and the master’s in real estate students at Mays Business School who will soon be going out in the field, managing and building properties. He said he learns from the students as much as he teaches them.

“Wealth isn’t just a measure of someone’s money and the freedom it can often provide.  More importantly, it is the freedom of controlling one’s own time,” he said. “I feel compelled to share my time and my experience with the students.”

Young said there is a bit of a “pay it forward” aspect to his visits to Mays. “I tell them things I wish I had heard at that age, and it’s a two-way street,” he said. “Their questions give me insight, and they are so bright and inquisitive.”

Young has committed a $100,000 gift to support the program at Mays.

“It is easy to have a big propensity to give back to this great university.   You start to think about the longevity of the gift, and you really feel you’re making an impact on the future,” he said. “When I meet a fellow Aggie, so many good things surface. I feel it’s almost incumbent upon me to give back.”

Young received a bachelor’s degree in finance from Texas A&M University and was a member of the Corps of Cadets and Ross Volunteer Company. Now he is a member of the Aggie Real Estate Network.

Young is regional managing partner for Stream Realty, which was recognized by the Aggie 100 for several years as one of the 100 fastest-growing Aggie-owned or operated companies. He leads the Houston office and jointly spearheads the firm’s strategic initiatives across its entire platform. In addition, he oversees the firm’s initiatives concerning asset management, acquisition and development activities for its principal and strategic clients.

Before joining Stream, Young served in the capital markets division at Trammell Crow Company. He is a member of the board of trustees for the Free Enterprise Institute and serves on the board of directors for the Business Ethics Forum and John Paul II Foundation for Life and Family. In addition, he is involved in a number of other civic and charitable organizations including the 12th Man Foundation’s Champions Council, the Austin Institute, Catholic Charities of Houston and Western Academy.

Preston Young in classroom

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

Adam Sinn doesn’t want finances to be the reason talented students don’t apply to or attend Mays Business School.

Adam Sinn donor

The 38-year-old commodities trader and member of Texas A&M University’s Class of 2000 has pledged $1 million to the Texas A&M Foundation to support scholarships for Mays Business School students, to encourage high school graduates from Dorado, Puerto Rico—where he now lives—and from Hoopeston, Ill.—his small hometown—to become Aggies.

“If you’re from Hoopeston or Dorado, you’d likely never think of applying to Texas A&M because you wouldn’t think you could afford it,” Sinn explained. “But knowing there’s a scholarship available can change that student’s mind. It can make being an Aggie a reality.”

Sinn’s brother became the family’s first college graduate, and Sinn hoped to follow in his footsteps to Notre Dame. When he wasn’t admitted, he accepted a scholarship and financial aid to Southern Methodist University (SMU). After a friend transferred from SMU to Texas A&M, Sinn visited the campus and was immediately taken. “The first time I walked across campus I remember thinking, ‘I want to be an Aggie.’”

He transferred, found a job bussing tables at Kona Ranch, and spent his final two undergraduate years studying finance. Looking back, if he could do his college experience all over again, he would have come to Texas A&M as a freshman. “My brother always told me that if I couldn’t proudly tell someone where I graduated from, then I was at the wrong school,” Sinn said. “Lucky for me, I’m proud to have graduated from A&M.”

Sinn’s career began in accounting and eventually led him to energy trading. In 2009, after Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy and Sinn lost his job, he took the biggest risk of his career and applied for membership on an exchange to begin trading his own life savings. The bet paid off. Later, business incentives led him to Puerto Rico, where his company Aspire Commodities, LP now employs five electricity and natural gas traders.

Sinn is living proof that significant giving isn’t just for the over-40 crowd. He has previously generously donated to A&M athletics. This Mays Business School scholarship, named for Sinn, is endowed, meaning the principal will be invested by the Texas A&M Foundation. Income from the endowment will support scholarships for four students each year forever.

“Luck and circumstance has had a lot to do with my career success, but I attribute much of that luck to the Aggie network,” he said. “You shouldn’t ever forget where you came from, so I’m going to be proud when someone from Hoopeston or Dorado receives one of these scholarships and joins the Aggie Network.”

This article was originally published by the Texas A&M Foundation.

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

Sarah Knop 2016

The Texas A&M Foundation Board of Trustees awarded Sarah Knop with its fourth Outstanding Student Award, a $2,500 honor, during a trustee dinner on Wednesday at the Foundation’s headquarters. The Austin native expects to graduate this month with a 4.0 GPA, and will receive degrees in business honors and finance with a minor in economics. This fall, she will begin a position with the consulting firm Bain & Co.

Former Foundation Trustee Melbern Glasscock and his wife Susanne created the endowed award in 2012 to honor an exceptional student at Texas A&M University and Foundation scholarship recipient each year with a cash award. Recipients of the award have distinguished themselves as leaders, and candidates are required to demonstrate that they have overcome personal or family financial challenges. Despite their tight budgets, these students have flourished on campus and in the classroom.

As the youngest of four siblings, Knop spent her senior year of high school finding scholarship support that would lighten her parents’ financial load. To her, the Trustees’ Outstanding Student Award is the culmination of her hard work and a reminder of the generosity she received as a student. …Read more

Categories: Donors Corner, Mays Business, News, Students, Texas A&M

What started as a celebration at the Texas A&M Foundation to express appreciation to Phillips 66 for a $500,000 donation soon transitioned to a tribute to the company’s generosity and ties to Texas A&M University.

Brian Bishop, the development officer for Mays Business School, surprised Judith Vincent, general auditor of Phillips 66, during the luncheon, saying he wanted to express the college’s appreciation for all the company has done. He gave her a plaque designating Phillips 66 as Mays’ 2016 Corporate Sponsor of the Year.

Phillips 66 awardVincent has been instrumental in coordinating the company’s gifts to Mays, which have helped fund annual trips to Africa for several Regents’ Scholars.“Your willingness to listen and engage with our students made the recognition for P66 very easy,” Bishop said.“We look forward to working with you and your team for many years to come.”

The clear glass plaque reads: “Mays Business School is proud of the corporate partners who invest in the academic and professional development of our students. These generous contributions allow us to accomplish our mission of creating knowledge and develop ethical leaders for a global society.”

Vincent said she was touched by the unexpected award. “We are extremely proud of what we have accomplished together in a short four years,” she said. “Our partnership works because of aligned values and shared objectives, but our partnership thrives because of the amazing people at Mays and the Foundation that I get to work with. The administrators and faculty I work with are committed, passionate and care deeply about the success of the students. I could not ask for better collaborators. Again, we deeply appreciate the recognition.”

Before the luncheon, Sonya Reed, senior vice president of human resources at Phillips 66, spoke of how impressed she has been with Texas A&M since joining Phillips 66 and moving to Houston 10 months ago. “A&M is a special place – and one that people are clearly passionate about,” she said, noting how her observations fuel her fascination with the culture of organizations – their inner life, character and behavior. “In my experience, you can quickly figure out what a particular culture encourages or discourages, and whether there’s a common sense of purpose. We know that culture determines the level of trust in an organization as well as its overall health and vitality. From colleagues I’ve learned that A&M has a strong, distinct, values-based culture.”

Reed said the partnership between Texas A&M and Phillips 66 has been far-reaching. “Currently, 271 Aggie graduates are working in a range of engineering and business positions at our company – including the CEO,” she said. “And Texas A&M is the company’s top resource for interns and new hires for our university recruitment efforts.”

One of those partnerships is the SHIELD Scholars Program, which currently has 24 Aggies enrolled. It awards $3,500 scholarships to full-time students who are recruited by Phillips 66 and who demonstrate leadership abilities, involvement in student and professional organizations and an interest in a career in the energy industry. In addition to financial support, SHIELD Scholars participate in enrichment activities such as career development, leadership seminars, lecture series, community service and visits to Phillips 66 locations. Texas A&M is one of 10 universities participating in the program.

Partners in discovering the world

In another partnership, Phillips 66 helps Mays send 15 college sophomores each summer on a two-week expedition in Africa. The students are all Regents’ Scholars – first-generation college students. “For a few of them, this trip was their first time on an airplane and outside the U.S.,” she said. “For many, it was their first opportunity to explore a new part of the world and learn about its many cultures. And for all of them, it presented challenges that advanced their maturity. The bond between A&M and Phillips 66 keeps getting stronger.”

Tyson Voelkel, president of the Texas A&M Foundation, said he has been impressed by the company’s focus on values and its generosity with Texas A&M students. “I don’t call it a gift, I call it an investment in our university and our students.”

Henry Musoma, a lecturer at Mays, accompanies the students to his homeland of Africa each summer. He described a correlation between Phillips 66’s dedication to the students and his favorite quote: “You can count the number of seeds in an orange, but you can never count the number of oranges in a seed.”

“Their company culture is grand in that it is sowing in a universal field,” he said. “Phillips 66 sponsors our programs because it is the right thing to do. Their sponsorship is matched by their active participation in our programs. They are fueling a renewed sense of purpose, passion and power in our student population.”

_P66 Judith

Judith Vincent

Categories: Donors Corner, Mays Business, News, Students, Texas A&M

Bahr and Graham photo

Anthony Bahr ’91 (left) and Jay Graham ’92 funded the Petroleum Ventures Program.

The business and engineering colleges at Texas A&M University are partnering in a new entrepreneurial training program to better prepare undergraduate and graduate students interested in the oil and gas industry.

The Petroleum Ventures Program (PVP) is a certificate program funded by a $12 million gift by Anthony Bahr ’91 and Jay Graham ’92, business partners in Houston-based WildHorse Resources Management Company. Both Bahr and Graham graduated from Texas A&M with petroleum engineering degrees: Bahr in 1991 and Graham in 1992. The partners’ gift stemmed from Bahr and Graham’s personal experience in identifying the industry importance and student benefit of providing business experience to engineering students, as well as the market value of graduating finance students with a specialization in the oil and gas industry.

“Thanks to the generosity and foresight of Mr. Bahr and Mr. Graham, Texas A&M has a magnificent opportunity to have an even more prominent role in providing intellectually transformative learning experiences that are so vital to our state and nation,” said Texas A&M University President Michael Young. “The entrepreneurial emphasis for the program reflects their expectation of excellence and their success – success to which they attribute in part to what they learned here at Texas A&M. It is very fitting that this bold new venture takes advantage of the strengths of both our engineering and business programs, offering an interdisciplinary experience that will well serve our students, presenting them with a competitive advantage among their peers as they enter the workforce.”

This academic collaboration between Mays Business School and the Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering will foster teamwork among petroleum engineering students and students in the Department of Finance at Mays. Students will take courses and work together on projects, and a Petroleum Business Impact Lab will be established.

The first classes for the PVP Certificate Program will be offered in Fall 2016. …Read more

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

There is great power in investing in another person, keynote speaker Robert E. Jordan ’85 told a crowd of about 700 people attending the 2015 Mays Business School Scholarship Banquet.

“It doesn’t have to be thousands of dollars, it can just be encouragement and caring,” he said. “Oftentimes, the best gift is yourself and your time.”

Robert JordanDonors and recipients, along with Mays faculty and staff members, got to know one another over dinner at the Hall of Champions at Kyle Field.

Jordan urged the crowd to take 15 seconds to think of someone who has had a big impact on their lives over the years. “Now take one minute to share that person with those at your tables,” he said. Laughter and stories rippled through the crowd. “I’m sure you felt gratitude, appreciation and warmth for that person. Remember that feeling, and help make others feel that way.”

Jordan, who is executive vice president and chief commercial officer of Southwest Airlines, spoke of the importance of giving back. He received a bachelor’s degree in computer science and an MBA at Texas A&M University. His wife worked full-time throughout school to support the family, and he received a fellowship that helped support his graduate studies. “I was there because someone I barely knew had decided to do something really generous and help me out,” he said.  “As you leave here and become myopic about work, never lose sight of the greater goals of life.”

Dean Eli Jones introduced and thanked Jordan, who funded a scholarship with his wife Kelly P. Jordan ’86. Jones expressed appreciation to all the donors present. He said during 2014, more than 1,700 scholarships from individual and corporate contributions were awarded to Mays students. “I don’t have to tell you that tuition is expensive, and scholarships help the students directly in this area,” Jones said. “But alumni giving is also a key indicator used to measure the quality of students, faculty and other resources of a university. It is a significant portion of the U.S. News & World Report overall ranking, and the support of our donors helps propel Texas A&M in the national rankings.”

Jones also introduced Layeeka Ismail, a first-generation Aggie who is a business honors and accounting student in the Professional Program, a five-year program that leads to a bachelor’s in accounting and a master’s in a business major.Layeeka Ismael

Ismail said the support of others has helped her succeed at Texas A&M, where she has studied in Morocco, been involved in numerous student organizations and will intern with Deloitte in Houston. She is also on a team that will represent Mays at the BI Norwegian Business School International Case Competition. “Now that it is my senior year, I’m filled with nostalgia,” Ismail said. “Inside and outside the classroom, we’ve been so poured and invested into. Thank you for investing in us. You are fulfilling our dreams.”

Photographs from the banquet are available on the Mays Flickr account.

Categories: Donors Corner, Mays Business, News, Students, Texas A&M

Henry and Judith order rings_alt1Henry Musoma often quotes one of his favorite sayings: “Your network is your net worth.” Recent events indicate the Mays Business School lecturer is a very rich man.

On Nov. 20, a group from Musoma’s network will give him an Aggie Ring, a coveted symbol of the Aggie Network that dates back more than 100 years. Students must earn 90 hours and a 2.0 GPA to be eligible to order a ring. Aggie Ring Day is one of the most anticipated milestones in an Aggie student’s career – and as Musoma will attest, in a former student’s career, too.

Musoma lost his ring several years ago and hasn’t replaced it. But anyone who knows him knows he is an Aggie through and through, personifying the core values of the institution: Excellence, integrity, leadership, loyalty, respect and selfless service.

Musoma spoke in mid-August to Grad Camp, an orientation for graduate and professional students, about one of his favorite topics: networking. Last week, event director and AgriLife Extension Program Specialist Kevin Andrews said Musoma made such an impact on him and on those present, he felt compelled to rally the students in his agriculture class, ALED 441, to raise funds to buy Musoma a replacement ring.

“He is well-liked and respected across campus, and I knew a lot of people would come together with small gifts to make a big difference,” Andrews said. Besides, the project was a lesson for his students to learn “you don’t need one person doing all the work, but rather a lot of people each doing their small part,” he said.

The ring is a small token of appreciation for all Musoma  has done since he arrived on campus from Africa years ago, Andrews said. “If you were to take all of the hours Dr. Musoma has spent on evenings and weekends speaking to student groups, inviting students into his home or mentoring young Aggies, and multiplied that by even minimum wages, he has invested enough into Texas A&M to have paid for a replacement Aggie Ring,” Andrews explained. “Even though he could afford his own replacement ring, Aggies take care of Aggies. He has given all of us something far more valuable than money – he has given us his time.”

The day Andrews came to Musoma’s office to tell him about the ring, Musoma was hosting a team from Phillips 66 who were visiting Mays. They were filming a video about a trip Musoma and Mays recruiter Corey Stone took with 14 students to Africa last summer. This was the second year that Phillips 66 sponsored the trip, and a team from Africa visited Mays last summer in return.

Judith Vincent, general auditor of Phillips 66, was nearby when Andrews delivered the news to Musoma. “The look on Dr. Musoma’s face – the sheer shock and pride and appreciation – just really touched me. It was very special, and it made me want to go get my ring.” Vincent graduated 30 years ago and never ordered her ring.

The pair immediately drove to the Association of Former Students to order her ring on the final day for a Nov. 20 delivery. Vincent said, “Every time I look at my ring, I will have so much pride because it will remind me of Dr. Musoma and the impact he has had.”  Nov. 20 will be a big day for Musoma and Vincent. That’s when they plan to pick up their rings, then go dunk them – an Aggie tradition. Most people drop their ring into a full pitcher of beer, then drink it to retrieve the ring. Musoma and Vincent are still working on details of their big day.

“I am taking a vacation day and coming to College Station,” Vincent said. “I wouldn’t miss it, and I wouldn’t miss being there when Dr. Musoma gets his ring. It’s going to be a very special day.”

Andrews said he is hopeful the group’s project reaches beyond Musoma. “Already, we have the funds to purchase an additional female Aggie Ring in his name, and we will continue to give as many scholarships in his name as possible,” he said. “I see no more fitting tribute for such a selfless servant than to keep this gift going for those who deserve it.”


Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 6,000 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in accounting, business, finance, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.

Categories: Alumni, Donors Corner, Faculty, Mays Business, News, Staff, Texas A&M

Mays Business School graduate Denise Byington ’86 and her husband, Bert Garcia, have committed $30,000 to establish a scholarship for her area of interest, the Denise Byington ’86 and Bert Garcia ’81 Endowed Scholarship in Finance.

Their preference is that the students who receive the scholarships have a financial need and be pursuing a degree in finance degree or supply chain management – their daughter’s major. Byington graduated with a bachelor’s degree in finance, while Garcia’s degree was in engineering.

“It’s important for us to give back after a couple of successful careers,” Byington said. “And as the parent of a college-aged child, we understand how difficult it can be to pay for a college education. If we could help some future Aggies, we would love to do that – especially if it is for a deserving business student.”

Eli Jones, dean of Mays Business School, said he appreciates it when former students provide avenues for future students to attend college. “This is an example of the Aggie spirit at work,” he said. “These two former students could have done so many things with their money, and they are choosing to help boost the future students of Mays. Such dedication is what keeps our programs alive and ensures our legacy as a top-notch business school.”


Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,900 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in accounting, business, finance, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.





Categories: Alumni, Departments, Donors Corner, Former Students, Mays Business, Texas A&M