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

KPMG has been selected as the 2017 Mays Business School Corporate Partner of the Year. To celebrate, April 4 will be KPMG Corporate Day in Mays Business School as part of the Mays Connection program, which celebrates the school’s partnerships with both businesses and former students.

Mays will host a presentation to announce the award, special remarks, a reception and class visits across the school from various KPMG alumni. The Corporate Partner of the Year presentation will be made in the Wehner Atrium from 11:30 a.m. to noon.

Bernie Milano, president of the KPMG U.S. Foundation Inc. and The PhD Project Association, is scheduled to give remarks on “Embracing Diversity of Thought” from 2:20 to 3:30 p.m. in Wehner 161.

Diversity of thought ensures cautious and creative processing of information compared to that which occurs within homogeneous groups. The key to embracing diversity of thought is to embrace difference. Managers who are adept in understanding differences across. race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality and ability spectrums have an advantage in creating a sustainable 21st century work force. Transformational leaders are open minded and seek diverse viewpoints to remain innovative and solve organizational challenges.

Milano graduated from Temple University with a B.S. in accounting and started his career with KPMG in the audit practice of the Philadelphia office. Prior to his current roles as president of the KPMG Foundation he held positions of increasing responsibility, including National Partner in Charge of University Relations and National Partner in Charge of Human Resources.

KPMG is a professional services company – offering audit, tax and advisory services – and is one of the Big Four auditors. It is based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, and employs 189,000 people.

The contributions that KPMG has made to Mays Business School include, but are not limited to

  • The KPMG Chair in Accounting, established in 2001
  • The KPMG Professorship in Accounting, established in 1988
  • The KPMG Fellowship, established in 1987,
  • The KPMG Data Analytics/Technology Development Endowment, established in 2015

KPMG is one of the school’s top employers. In 2016, the company hired more than 75 students for internships and full-time opportunities at both the undergraduate and graduate level.

“When selecting the honoree for 2017, we immediately realized that KPMG was the only choice, considering their commitment to our school through financial support, hiring and educational support,” said Mays Dean Eli Jones.

The PhD Project, an effort to improve diversity in higher education, has been led by Milano since its inception and has benefited a number of Mays current and prospective faculty.   

 

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

A scholarship and a Disney movie helped Mays Business School student Arden Robertson achieve her dreams of attending Texas A&M University and working for NASA. Arden will graduate in December with a bachelor’s degree in Business Honors and accounting as well as a master’s degree in management information systems as part of Mays’ Professional Program in Accounting.

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Student speaker Arden Robertson

She spoke at the Mays 2016 Scholarship Banquet Nov. 3 about how the Disney movie “Toy Story” influenced her life. She identified more with than Woody the cowboy, and has parlayed three summer internships at NASA into a job offer there upon graduation.

“All because of one scholarship, I was able to be just like Woody and achieve the Western dream while keeping intact core values and emulate Buzz by going to the infinity and beyond by working with NASA,” she told about 500 attendees at the Zone Club at Kyle Field. “Needless to say, just getting the opportunity to come to Texas [from Florida] and attend Texas A&M was a dream come true in itself! However, the dream kept getting better.”

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

scholarship-recipientsBy Allison Hayes

The MS Finance Program held the inaugural scholarship ceremony for the Theodoric C. Bland Jr. Family Scholarship on Nov. 8. Ted Bland awarded the scholarships to three promising students: Mengyan Cheng ’17, Alyson Miranda ’18 and Shelby Johnson ’19.

The scholarships are funded through a $50,000 endowment from Bland, who has served on the board for the Department of Finance since 1995 and is the longest tenured member of the board. He is also on the Steering Committee for the MS Finance Program. When asked what the thought was behind giving this scholarship, Bland responded, “Both of our children are Aggies and their spouses are Aggies. I have a very strong allegiance to Texas A&M, and Mary Lou and I thought we were fortunate and we wanted to give back. People gave to me to get to where I got, and I think it’s important to give back so that other people can have that opportunity as well.”

When asked what the thought was behind giving this scholarship, Bland responded, “Both of our children are Aggies and their spouses are Aggies. I have a very strong allegiance to Texas A&M, and Mary Lou and I thought we were fortunate and we wanted to give back. People gave to me to get to where I got, and I think it’s important to give back so that other people can have that opportunity as well.”

Bland said he wanted to encourage more women to pursue STEM majors and the area of finance, so he funded the scholarship to help more female students pursue a master’s degree in finance. “I do believe in giving back, and A&M is where I’m going to give back,” he said. “Whether it’s in time or money, I’m going to give back.”

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