Lead Story

Mays Business School recognizes EY as 2018 Corporate Partner of the Year

Dorian Martin, March 22nd, 2018

Mays Business School recognized global leader EY as its 2018 Corporate Partner of the Year during a day-long celebration on March 22. Corporate executives participated in an official award ceremony. They also gave presentations and led roundtable discussions with Mays undergraduate and graduate students on topics ranging from creating an engaged corporate culture, supporting employees, disruptive technology, and the professional of the future.

The Corporate Partner of the Year award honors EY’s 35-year relationship with Mays. “Some people think this award is about the money, but it’s not,” said Mays Dean Eli Jones ’82. “It’s because of EY’s significant investment of time, energy, and ideas in our school. Just having the EY brand associated with the Mays brand means a lot worldwide.”

A meaningful corporate partnership

EY has contributed $5 million to the school and recently made a $2 million commitment to name the Department of Accounting.  “EY has been the largest donor to the accounting program and one of the largest to the college,” said Jim Benjamin, the head of Mays’ Department of Accounting.

In addition, EY leaders have been active on numerous Mays advisory boards and provided feedback on curriculum and course content. The multinational professional services firm also has hired hundreds of Aggies for internships and full- time positions after graduation. “Part of the success of our program is attracting great students,” Benjamin said. “Great students are interested in programs where there are great outcomes – where there are internships, jobs and great career opportunities. Corporate partnerships like the one we have with EY have made that happen.”

A pipeline for the next generation of transformational leaders

In turn, EY executives value the characteristics that Aggies bring to the table. “When Aggies come to work with us, they are well-trained, which you’d expect,” Randy Cain ’82, EY’s vice chair and region managing partner. “But they also are transformational leaders. They are people with a work ethic that is second to none. Our purpose is to build a better working world and I often say that I cannot find a place that better matches that then Texas A&M. It’s been a wonderful 35-year journey and one that will continue forever. It is also a partnership that is very important to us.”



This year’s spring commencement marked a major milestone for the Mays Executive MBA Program. The program welcomed its first group of students in 1999. And, after two years of giving up their weekends and commuting to The Woodlands, all 40 members of Class I attended the ceremony to receive their hard-earned advanced business degrees.

“This class had a definite dynamic,” said Kathy Thompson, a Class I participant and vice president for information technology planning and process management for Verizon. “After going through the program together, we decided we all had to support each other and walk across the stage to receive our degrees. We feel like it’s the final and is very important to us as a group because it is the last time we’ll all be together.”

Approximately 200 of the class’ family and friends came to campus from around the country to attend graduation and a luncheon hosted by the Executive MBA Program Office.

“Receiving this degree is very important to them,” said Julie Orzabal, associate director of the program. “This was a very successful class and they really set the precedent for the classes following them.”

In addition to attending graduation festivities, many of the Executive MBA students have ordered Aggie rings, excluding those who received their bachelor’s from the University of Texas at Austin, said Orzabal with a laugh.

Regardless of the fact that they aren’t considered “traditional” A&M students by many because they met off campus, for Thompson obtaining her ring in August will be the final rite of passage into the Aggie family. “I feel a very strong kinship with the other participants and with Texas A&M,” she said. “Receiving a ring and becoming a part of the Aggie Network is all part of earning the degree.”

Categories: Departments, Faculty, Programs, Students

For the 18th year in a row, the college’s Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP) received the Student Chapter Outstanding Performance Award at the organization’s national collegiate meeting in Chicago.

A&M students also competed in the programming contest, including junior information and operations management students Michael Fowler and Shawn Kruse who placed sixth out of 95 teams in the visual basic competition. The team of senior information and operations students Jennifer Boyer and Nicolyn Marino placed first out of 32 teams in the Webmaster competition.

Categories: Departments, Programs, Students

More than 650 students and parents had the opportunity to meet Mays College administrators at the Business Student Council’s “Breakfast with the Deans.” Held in the Wehner Building during Parents’ Weekend, the event provided an opportunity for the council to welcome parents to the Mays College.

“We targeted the event to parents of freshman and sophomore business students, although it was open to everyone,” said council president Scott Ramsower, a junior finance major. “It’s a good way to communicate with parents and make them aware of what’s going on within the college.”

In years past, the Business Student Council sponsored similar events but Ramsower said the group opted to involve administrators and faculty members this year to give parents a first-hand opportunity to meet them. The program line up included Dean Benton Cocanougher, Ben Welch, director of the Center for Executive Development, and management professor Don Hellriegel, who discussed the approved Wehner Building expansion.

“Overall, I think it was a great success,” Ramsower said. “For next year, however, we would like to think of new ways to accommodate growth and offer more insight into the college and its facilities by providing tours and additional information.”

Categories: Departments, Faculty, Students

Governor Rick Perry has appointed the college’s namesake Lowry Mays ’57 to serve on the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents. A San Antonio resident and chairman of Clear Channel Communications, Mays will serve a six-year term. He is a former chairman of the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce and of the United Way of San Antonio and has received numerous awards and honors for his service to the communications industry and Texas A&M.

Along with Mays and Wendy Gramm, Phil Adams ’71 has also been named to the board of regents. A member of the Mays College Development Council, Adams owns the Phil Adams Company in Bryan and is very active in the community, serving on the board of directors of the Bryan-College Station Chamber of Commerce. He is also involved in the Brazos County United Way and the Central Texas Association of Life Underwriters and serves as a director of First American Bank in Bryan.

Categories: Former Students, Texas A&M

Time management is often a challenge for college students. Throw in the demands of practice, games and travel into the mix and it doesn’t leave much time for a life. But, several Mays student athletes are proving they can do it all. And, do it well.

Senior volleyball player Jenna Moscovic was named the Bill Erwin Scholar-Athlete of the Year at Texas A&M’s annual awards banquet this spring. Mosovic, who is in the college’s Professional Program, was named a first-team All-American this year and has been a three-time member of the Academic All-Big 12 squad.

Seth McKinney, center for the Aggie football team, was presented the Distinguished Letterman Award at the banquet. McKinney, who earned a BBA and master’s in information and operations management (INFO), was also named a first-team Verizon Academic All-American. McKinney is heading to the NFL next fall.

Sophomore INFO student Ryan Warpinski was named to the first team of this year’s Baseball Academic All-Big 12 team. Fellow players Matt Alexander, a sophomore accounting major, and Justin Moore, a sophomore finance major, were named to the second-team Baseball Academic All-Big 12 team.

Categories: Departments, Students

Recent Awards Include:

Dean Emeritus status granted by the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents

Diversity Award presented by the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost and the Associate Provost and Dean of Faculties

Eagle Award presented by Private Enterprise Research Center

Award presented by the Business Student Council during Parent’s Weekend

Framed emeritus status plaque, a resolution and crystal bookends by the Academic Program Council and a crystal nameplate presented at a university-wide reception

Association of Former Students Distinguished Achievement Award for Administration

Resolution presented by the Texas A&M Foundation

Framed rendering of the Special Events Center named in honor of Dr. and Mrs. Cocanougher (located in the approved Wehner Building expansion) presented at a dinner honoring the Cocanoughers

Categories: Faculty, Featured Stories, Texas A&M

What started as a routine chore of washing dishes has become a successful 29-year endeavor for Crate and Barrel founders Gordon and Carol Segal. The couple wanted to offer well-designed products at affordable prices and when they secured a storefront in Chicago’s Old Town in 1962, Crate and Barrel was born. Now, almost three decades later, Crate and Barrel offers an array of affordable, usable gourmet cookware and housewares in 96 stores in 21 U.S. markets. It also provides gift registry and catalog and Web shopping.

In recognition of Crate and Barrel’s success, Gordon Segal, who also serves as the company’s CEO, presented the fourth annual M.B. Zale Visionary Merchant Lecture. The lecture, which honors the late jewelry retailer and founder MB Zale, was sponsored by the college’s Center for Retailing Studies (CRS) and is made possible by an endowment established by the M.B. & Edna Zale Foundation.

“Mr. Segal is an innovative merchant and visionary leader,” said Dr. David Szymanski, director of the CRS. “He and his company are ideal examples of creativity and leadership the lecture series honors.”

Segal’s vision as an entrepreneur and merchant have not gone unnoticed, as he’s received numerous honors and awards, including the National Retail Federation’s 2000 Gold Medal Award Winner and the Gourmet Products Show/Home-World Business Industry Lifetime Achievement Award.

Categories: Departments, Executive Speakers, Faculty

Mays MBA students put aside the textbooks and PowerPoint presentations and tried their hands at singing and acting to raise money for charity at the recent MBA Association (MBAA) /Central Charity Challenge Follies and Auction. Held at the 3rd Floor Cantina in downtown Bryan, the first ever event attracted approximately 130 faculty and staff, students and guests.

“We raised almost $3,000 for the Innercity Games in Los Angeles, local shelters and other need-based organizations,” said Brenda Steinacher, a first year MBA student and event coordinator. “People donated various items to be auctioned, such as wine tasting, an hour to discuss the stock market, tutoring, dog obedience training and tickets to events.”

The fundraiser was a combined effort between the MBAA group and the Central Charity Challenge, a group of MBA students that competes with other MBA programs around the country to raise the most money for charity throughout the year. The event was sponsored in part by Equiva and 3rd Floor Cantina, while Four Seasons Hotel in Austin donated a night’s stay to be auctioned.

“The follies and auction had the best turnout of any event that we’ve sponsored this year,” said Leigh Robinson, MBAA social director. “So, we hope to continue it every year.”

Categories: Departments, Programs, Students

While the California energy crisis has sparked a great deal of discussion regarding deregulation, Texans can rest assured they will have energy for years to come. Thanks to visionaries like TXU Chairman and CEO Erle Nye ’59, a level playing field now exists in the energy industry, stimulating competition and growth.

Because of his key role in the deregulation of Texas public utilities and his ability to reposition TXU during a critical time, Nye was named the 2001 Conn Distinguished New Venture Leader by the college’s Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship. Funded by a gift from Carroll (C.W.) and Dorothy Conn, the award recognizes an outstanding business leader who has achieved extraordinary success through a business start up or in the transformation of an existing company. The first recipient was college namesake Lowry Mays, chairman and CEO of Clear Channel Communications, who received the award last year.

“Deregulation was not easy and competition is challenging as well,” Nye said during his recent lecture at the college. “During the transition from deregulation to competition, everything that was nailed down came loose — the change impacted every aspect of TXU. But we came through it well, because of the ability of our workforce to adapt to the new set of circumstances and because of our strong corporate culture.”

Nye has worked for TXU and its predecessor companies for his entire adult life. As chief financial officer, he presided over the mergers that formed TXU, including joining three Texas power companies with Enserch/Lone Star Gas in 1997. This merger expanded the company beyond electricity generation, transmission and distribution and into the natural gas business, making it one of the largest corporations in the industry. Today, TXU serves 11 million customers worldwide, with over $22 billion in yearly revenues.

“The Conn New Venture Leader Award recognizes recognizes people in large corporate settings who demonstrate the creativity and innovation needed to change the very face of business in this country,” explained Dean Benton Cocanougher. “The contributions of our first two recipients, Lowry Mays and Erle Nye, have made definite, lasting impressions both on their own companies and on their industries.”

Nye also plays a variety of roles in Texas higher education, including a current six-year appointment to the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents. He also serves on the Texas A&M Foundation Advisory Committee and is a member of the Chancellor’s Century Council of Advisors.

Categories: Executive Speakers, Former Students, Texas A&M

The Mays College will have new leadership starting July 1, as Dr. Jerry R. Strawser, interim dean of the C.T. Bauer College of Business at the University of Houston, has been named Dr. Benton Cocanougher’s successor as dean. The appointment is pending final approval of the Texas A&M University System Chancellor.

The move to Texas A&M will be a return home of sorts for Strawser, who received three accounting degrees from the Mays College, including a BBA in 1983, a master’s of science in 1984 and a doctorate in 1985. In 1999, he accepted the position of interim dean at the University of Houston, where he is the Arthur Andersen and Co. Alumni Professor of Accountancy and Taxation. Before serving as interim dean, he served four years as the associate dean for academic and research programs. Strawser was on Louisiana State University faculty for five years before joining the University of Houston.

In making the announcement, A&M Executive Vice President and Provost Ronald G. Douglas said, “I have the utmost confidence in Dr. Strawser’s ability to provide the leadership required to continue the growth in quality programs of the Texas A&M University Lowry Mays College and Graduate School of Business.”

Be on the look out for more coverage of Strawser in upcoming issues of Mays Business Online.

Categories: Faculty, Featured Stories, Texas A&M