Mays Business School, May 16th, 2016
Adam Sinn doesn’t want finances to be the reason talented students don’t apply to or attend Mays Business School.
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.”