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

Craig R. McMahen ’89

Craig R. McMahen ’89 helped found the Aggies on Wall Street program, and now he has provided a way to expand the program with sponsorships for students.

He has committed $50,000 to establish the Craig R. McMahen ’89 Aggies on Wall Street Endowment Fund, which will be used to support students participating in the program and helpf und other programmatic needs. McMahen also donated $50,000 to the previously established Craig R. McMahen ’89 Fund for Excellence in Teaching and Research in Finance.

Aggies on Wall Street is a program designed for top students that want to compete at the highest levels in finance. A committee hand selects 20 students every year to travel to New York City for two weeks and meet with approximately 20-30 different financial companies, usually hosted by Aggie alumni. This experience introduces students to individual companies and different industries including investment banking, private equity, trading, hedge funds and equity research. Additionally, it gives young Aggies a network on Wall Street, historically reserved for Ivy League schools.

“Finance Professor and Department Head Sorin Sorescu and former Mays Dean Jerry Strawser got behind several of us and had the vision and persistence to grow the program into what it is today,” McMahen said. “As a result of the continued success of Aggies on Wall Street, many students are working in New York or other cities in these highly competitive fields. It is also great visibility for Mays, as these jobs are some of the highest paying coming out of undergraduate programs.

Since New York is still the financial hub of the world, McMahen said he and the others “want Mays students to get out of Texas and give them exposure to that world where you can work with and compete against the top financial minds from schools including Harvard, Stanford and NYU, amongst others.”

“It’s great visibility for the university and a benefit for the companies, because these are the top students,” he said. “It’s also a great first step for the students because they have connections for job interviews and summer internships.”

Interim Dean Ricky Griffin said McMahen’s gift is beneficial to Mays students. “Given the central role that New York plays in both our domestic and global financial markets it is critical that students have the opportunity to spend time there and begin to form professional networks,” he said. “Aggies on Wall Street plays a major role for us and we are sincerely thankful that Craig McMahen supports this program and is so dedicated to helping our students.”

McMahen is a long-time partner with Mays and was recognized in 2012 with a Mays Outstanding Alumni Award. He became attracted to Wall Street during a summer internship in New York in 1988 where he worked in an equity research department of Keefe, Bruyette and Woods, an investment bank, and on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange. After graduation, he joined KBW’s investment banking department where he worked for 23 years. In 2012, he opened a satellite office in Austin where he is a Managing Director of Investment Banking and Head of the Southwestern U.S. for the commercial banking industry.

He said his goal in providing the Mays fund for excellence is to aid the department head of finance in recruiting and rewarding faculty members. “In my business, the top performers are rewarded with bonuses and I wanted to give Dr. Sorescu a tool to reward the top instructors so they can continue high-level teaching and research,” McMahen said.

McMahen said he wants the paths for current students to be more smooth than when he went to New York City in 1989 to begin his career. “There was only myself and some other young bankers there who were Aggies,” he said. “We have tried to grow the number of Aggies intentionally. We want to help Aggies learn firsthand of the opportunities there are in New York.


Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,900 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 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: Donors Corner


Passionate about the importance of education, Gina and Anthony Bahr ’91 contributed $550,000 to support the teaching, research and professional development activities of Mays Business School faculty members.

Anthony Bahr, CEO of WildHorse Resources Management Company in Houston, said he and his wife are grateful beneficiaries of the talents of teachers who have a passion for education. “We want to encourage and support that same passion in others,” he explained.

The gift is separate and in addition to a $100,000 gift WildHorse Resources committed in 2013 for a Business Honors scholarship fund. WildHorse is a private oil and gas production company with operations in Texas and Louisiana.

“Harvey Firestone once said, ‘The growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership,’” he said. “Texas A&M and Mays Business School each have a well-deserved reputation for developing the leaders of tomorrow, and we are glad for the opportunity to support outstanding faculty who are leaders in both research and the classroom.”


Bahr is a two-time Aggie 100 honoree and serves on the Dean’s Development Council at Mays. He received both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree from Texas A&M University in petroleum engineering. He also received an MBA from California State University Bakersfield.

The first recipient of a Bahr Professorship is management Professor Lorraine Eden. She was recognized for her dedication to the university and its students. She currently demonstrates her commitment to higher education by participating in the World Economic Forum and will serve as an expert in the E15 Initiative Investment Policy Task Force, which seeks to propose new rules for the international trade and investment.

In addition, this semester she is mentoring 17 students and created an in-depth profile book aimed at finding each student top internships and career opportunities. She has helped place more than 70 Aggies in transfer pricing careers, and more than 170 current and former students participate in her closed LinkedIn group, Transfer Pricing Aggies. She also encourages her students to actively participate in meetings with the American Bar Association by presenting in hour-long panels, transfer-pricing cases they had analyzed while taking her class.

Mays Interim Dean Ricky Griffin said the professorship will help the school achieve its mission of developing its students into ethical leaders for a global society. “It is critical that we support the research and teaching work of our top faculty,” he said. “We are very appreciative that Gina and Anthony Bahr have provided the gift of an endowed professorship to help us continue to move forward.”


Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,900 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 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: Donors Corner


Second only to his family and friends, Clay Aderholt loved Texas A&M University, Mays Business School and the Christian fraternity Aggie Men’s Club. After Clay died in a car accident in May 2013 at age 36, a group of his best friends wanted to raise money to help Clay’s wife Allison and their two young children.

A host committee, chaired by Trey Able ’98, organized a golf tournament at Miramont Country Club in Bryan, and almost 100 people showed up to play and share stories about Clay. He had built a network of friends as a finance student at Mays, then as senior vice president of corporate banking with Texas Capital Bank. He and his family had deep roots in the Boerne community where they lived.

Able said he wanted to do something that would honor Clay. “It wasn’t all about golf. It was about getting together all these people who were from the different areas of Clay’s life and allowing them all to share stories and bond over his memories,” Able said. “We had carpools of people from lots of different areas of the state and different areas of his life – most of whom had never met, but who had Clay in common.”

The tournament netted $75,000 – enough to create a college fund for the two Aderholt children along with the Clay Aderholt ’99 Memorial Scholarship Fund, which provides two-year scholarships for four full-time Mays undergraduate students who are members of Aggie Men’s Club.

Allison raved about the golf event – especially the goodie bags filled with “Clay’s favorites”: A koozie in his favorite camo pattern and a chocolate chip cookie. The location of the tournament was fitting, too, she said, because he loved Aggieland so. “I felt like Clay bled maroon more and more, the longer he was away from there,” she said.

When the time came to select the scholarship recipients, the committee was headed up by Ben Welch, who is an academic advisor for Aggie Men’s Club as well as an assistant dean at Mays’ Center for Executive Development and a clinical professor in the Department of Management. That was fitting because Clay “really looked to Ben as a father figure,” Allison said.

At the 2014 Mays scholarship banquet, Clay’s wife, best friend and mentor got to sit with the recipients of his scholarships. “It was an honor to meet them and to hear about their plans,” Able said. “Even though they didn’t know Clay, they were carrying on his dreams, and that was good to hear.”

Ricky Griffin, interim dean of Mays Business School, expressed his appreciation for the project. “A gift that benefits our students while also honoring the memory of one of our beloved alumni often carries special significance,” he said. “The futures of Clay Aderholt’s wife and children have been eased by the generosity of so many of his friends.”

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,600 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 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: Donors Corner, Mays Business