Lead Story

Mays Business School receives largest single commitment in school’s history from Mays Family Foundation

Mays Business School, April 10th, 2017

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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Class II participants of the Mays Executive MBA Program are preparing to wrap up their first year by attending The Washington Campus in May. Held in Washington D.C., the program is part of the MBA curriculum and provides insight into public affairs and public policy and how they impact organizations’ operations.

The Washington Campus provides the opportunity for participants of the Mays Executive MBA Program to interact with members of Congress and their staff, including senior administration officials, lobbyists, journalists, noted scholars and corporate executives. With an intimate knowledge of the Washington scene, these speakers provide an unparalleled view of the U.S. government at work. Mays participants will attend seminars and simulations to discuss topics, such as business and the public policy process, health care, and public policy and the global business environment.

As part of a consortium of 17 distinguished business schools, The Washington Campus has been providing public policy education for over 20 years.

Categories: Departments, Programs, Students

The Mays College will be represented well at Fish Camp this summer and not just by incoming freshmen business students. Several Mays faculty members have been selected as namesakes for the annual camp. Namesakes chosen this year include management faculty members Michael Abelson, Rick Larson, Peter Rodriguez and Keith Swim and accounting faculty Mary Stasny and Carlton Stolle.

Each year students nominate faculty, staff and administrators to be namesakes for one of the 36 individual freshmen orientation camps, which are held over six sessions throughout the month of August.

Categories: Departments, Faculty

“It seems that most people get into retail accidentally and that very few people plan to get into it,” said R. Bruce Bryant, senior vice president for Western Store Operations for Walgreen Co. during a recent visit to the Mays College.

While that may be true for some, students in the Mays College are preparing now for careers in the retailing field. And, through the Center for Retailing Studies’ (CRS) Executive-in-Residence Program, students have the opportunity to interact with business leaders, such as Bryant, who are shaping the retail industry.

During his guest session, Bryant recounted his experiences in the field, particularly the opportunities and challenges he’s witnessed during his 30-year career with Walgreen. Like many Mays students, Bryant was mesmerized by the industry and wanted to make it his career. “My dad had a wholesale grocery business that I worked at when I was in high school,” said Bryant, who serves on the CRS Advisory Board. “I loved it and went to college knowing that I wanted to go into retail.”

The interactive session also provided time for students to volunteer suggestions on how Bryant could help improve Walgreen’s retail efforts, ranging from offering more drive-through window services and removing clutter from storefronts.

For more than 15 years, the CRS has been bringing retailing executives to campus from numerous companies, including Payless ShoeSource, JCPenny, Hastings Entertainment, Zale Corporation, Pizza Hut, Walgreen and Mary Kay, among others.

To learn more, visit the Center for Retailing Studies online.

Categories: Departments

Two Mays undergraduate business students have been selected to participate in a twelve-month work/study program in Germany. Jason Bourland, a senior information and operations management major, and Ashli Simpson, a senior finance major, are among two of the 60 U.S. students selected to participate in the Congress-Bundestag Youth Exchange for Young Professionals program.

The yearlong program, which begins in late July, includes two months of intensive German language training; four months of professional training in a specific career field; and a five-month internship with a German company or organization. The students will also experience the country’s culture first hand, as they will live with a German family.

Bourland and Simpson will return to Texas A&M following this yearlong program to complete their programs of study.

Categories: Departments, Students

Five students in the college recently encountered a taste of real-world consulting. The team advanced to a national competition in late February in St. Charles, Illinois after winning Arthur Andersen’s Business Consulting Case Competition at Texas A&M.

The team was composed of junior marketing major Arati Bhattacharya, graduate finance major Bonnie Miller, junior accounting major Ty Popplewell, junior finance major Gran Potter and junior agricultural business major Kristin Ware.

Advancing to the national competition was a feat Bhattacharya credits to the preparation the team received from the business school as well as their own teamwork. “Our business classes prepared us to pull from each of our strengths to solve the problem,” Bhattacharya says. “For us, the secret to getting to nationals was all about cooperation and team dynamics.”

Categories: Departments, Students

The college recently recognized four staff members for their service and commitment to excellence. This year’s Outstanding Staff Award winners include: Shirley Deffenbaugh, communications coordinator, Center for Retailing Studies; Jean Gresham, program coordinator, Center for Executive Development; Fran Harris, administrative assistant, Department of Finance; and Julie Orzabal, assistant director, Executive MBA Program.

Categories: Departments, Faculty, Staff

Through its first-annual Holiday Smiles Program, the college’s Center for Retailing Studies (CRS), the Retailing Society and corporate partners helped make the holidays special for less fortunate children in the Brazos Valley area. Student members of the Retailing Society worked with Brazos Valley Interfaith Outreach, a local charitable organization, to arrange the program. Drawing on its local sponsor companies, the CRS and Retailing Society provided 33 children with toys, candy, clothes, shoes and school supplies. Companies generously donating to the project included: JCPenney, Office Depot, Payless ShoeSource, Target, Toys R Us and Wal-Mart.

“Our goal is to bring the spirit of Christmas to more children in the Brazos Valley. We want to play a role in ensuring that all children wake up on Christmas morning with a smile on their face,” said Dr. David Szymanski, director of the Center for Retailing Studies.

Categories: Departments, Faculty, Students

Three faculty members in the Department of Management have recently been named chairholders. Dr. Ricky Griffin, executive associate dean and management professor, has been named the Blocker Chair in Business, which was established by John ’45 and Jeanne Blocker to recognize an outstanding professor in the college. Griffin, who joined Texas A&M in 1981, has written numerous textbooks and articles on topics such as workplace violence, employee health and well being in the workplace and workplace culture.

The college has also recently appointed management professor Dr. Angelo DeNisi to the Paul M. and Rosalie Robertson Chair in Business, endowed by Charles and Sharon Robertson as a tribute to his parents. DeNisi serves as head of the Department of Management and director of the Center for Human Resource Management. Prior to joining the faculty in 1997, DeNisi taught at Rutgers University, the University of South Carolina and Kent State University.

Professor Dr. Richard Woodman has also been honored for his contributions, designated as the Fouraker Professor in Business, in honor Lawrence E. Fouraker’s ’44 outstanding contributions to business education. Woodman’s publications on organizational change and creativity have appeared in numerous management journals.

Categories: Departments, Faculty, Former Students

The Mays College & Graduate School of Business awarded approximately 680 degrees to undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students at commencement ceremonies on Friday, Dec. 15. The ceremony, which was held in Reed Arena, featured Houston Chronicle sports columnist Mickey Herskowitz as the guest speaker.

Categories: Students

The Arthur Andersen & Co. Chair in Accounting Robert Strawser has recently received the Regents Professor Service Award given by the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents. He was one of two faculty members named to the three-year appointment from the College Station campus. Established in 1996, the award program recognizes and honors faculty members who have made exemplary contributions to their university. Each recipient receives a stipend of $3,000 for each of the three years. Strawser, who has been teaching at A&M more than 25 years, has received numerous teaching and research awards and is listed in McGraw-Hill’s Accounting Literature Index as the leading active author among all U.S. and international academics.

Categories: Departments, Faculty, Texas A&M