Melendy Lovett ’79, who earned her BBA in management and is president of Texas Instrument’s Educational and Productivity Solutions, was inducted to the Women in Technology International Hall of Fame for 2005.

Lovett is the first woman in Texas Instument’s history to be named a president. She leads a $500 million international business that brings innovative TI calculators to market and uses research to continue driving products and programs that help students perform in math and science classrooms.

Another former student will be honored by A&M in 2006: L.C. “Chaz” Neely ’62, BBA in marketing, is one of four Aggies honored with the 2006 Distinguished Alumnus Award from Texas A&M and The Association of Former Students.

Neely is CEO of San Antonio Steel Company (SASCO), a B2B company with products including reinforced steel, barbed wire and agricultural and high tensile fencing. Neely was named 1997 Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst & Young, and was a Mays Outstanding Alumnus in 2005.

Categories: Departments, Former Students

Finance Professor Tim Dye will receive a 2006 Distinguished Achievement Award in Teaching from the Association of Former Students in early May. A campus-wide committee of faculty, staff and students chooses recipients.

The latest teaching award gives us a streak, including Management Professor Ben D. Welch in 2005, Lamar Savings Professor Arvind Mahajan in 2004 and Associate Dean Marty Loudder in 2003.

More faculty were honored recently for their teaching and mentoring. Welch was honored during Parents’ Weekend in April by the Federation of Texas A&M University Mothers’ Clubs, which dedicated its 2006-2007 yearbook to Welch. The dedication annually honors faculty and administrators who impact the lives of A&M students.

Accounting Department Head James Benjamin also came away with parents’ honors: he was named during Parents’ Weekend as the Wells Fargo Honors Faculty Member.

Categories: Departments, Faculty

The spring 2006 issue of @Mays magazine is on its way to alumni mailboxes.

Some alumni will also be asked to complete a readers’ response survey online. We’ll notify our random sample of readers and ask them to evaluate the content and coverage in @Mays.

To request an extra copy or get one mailed to you, please contact Communications Officer Pam Wiley at or 979-834-0193.

Categories: Departments

The average SAT scores of students invited to join the Business Honors Program has jumped from 1290 to 1403 over the past five years, and the average class rank isn’t far behind.

Last year’s crop of incoming freshmen chosen for Business Honors were, on average, in the top 4.4 percent of their graduating high school classes. This year’s group comes in 1.42 percent higher at an average rank of the top 2.98 percent.

Mays invited 105 of the total 243 freshman honors applicants to join the Business Honors program next fall. Of those accepted, about 72 are expected to join the class of 2010.

The academic statistics of the honors applicants have continued to impress. The class rank of those accepted for this fall’s Honors program ranges from the top 1 percent to the top 14.53 percent, and SAT scores range from 1250 to 1560. Among those selected for Business Honors are 15 valedictorians, 11 salutatorians and 13 National Merit Semi-Finalists and Finalists.

The diverse group invited to join Business Honors includes 10 Hispanics, two African-Americans, three Native Americans and six Asians and includes students from rural and urban areas across the country.

“The students selected for the Business Honors Program have done so much more than just excel in the classroom,” says Kris Morley, coordinator of the Business Honors Program at Mays. “They are leaders in their schools and in their communities. Their records of community service speak of their desire to make a difference to others. In addition, they are a talented and interesting group: They have traveled internationally, are gifted musicians and athletes, and several have started their own businesses.”

Categories: Programs, Students

Maxine Clark took listening to a 10-year-old to a higher level when a search for stuffed animals with the daughter of a friend became a visionary drive that helped her launch Build-A-Bear Workshop, a now-$400 million brand that puts the fun back into the retailing experience.

Clark, who was named the 2006 M.B. Zale Visionary Merchant in late March, reinvented the concept of a child’s teddy bear. Eight years after Clark opened her first store at the St. Louis Galleria, more than 36 million customers — 80 percent of them children — have stuffed bears, frogs and dogs to their desired huggable firmness and dressed them in style as part of Build-A-Bear’s entertainment retail theme park.

The 30-year retailing veteran left corporate America in search, she says, of the excitement she used to feel as a little girl when she’d stare through shop windows with her family in Miami’s shopping district. Clark spent two decades in merchandising with May Department Stores before she became president of Payless ShoeSource in 1992.

In 1997, she and her friend’s daughter, Katie, were in search of the perfect Beanie Baby when they dreamed up the ultimate arts-and-crafts project that would allow kids to create and clothe their own plush animals, complete with birth certificates.

“Our concept challenges the creative mind and brings out the children in all of us,” Clark said. “I always say you can never have too many shoes or too many teddy bears. But above all, keep the kid in you alive — you always need that source of inspiration and perspective.”

With 200 international locations and growing, families are creating memories as they build their toys in malls, ballparks, zoos and in mobile locations wherever families gather.

Clark will be inducted into the U.S. Business Hall of Fame this year. 2006 will also see the release of her first book, “The Bear Necessities of Business: Building a Company with Heart.”

The M.B. Zale Visionary Merchant Award is named after the founder of Zale’s and sponsored by Mays’ 20-year-old Center for Retailing Studies and the M.B. and Edna Zale Foundation.

Categories: Centers

Houston Astros Baseball Club owner Drayton McLane — an international businessman and food importer and exporter for four decades — told students in Lorraine Eden’s management class that businessmen should adopt their attitudes from baseball. Baseball mirrors life’s ups and downs; with more than 160 games a season, the team might lose one game but has to remain unfazed to face the next game less than 24 hours later.

So his advice? “Move forward, get off the past, and think about what you’re going to do tomorrow.”

That lesson is in part a new one for McLane, who faced a group of ballplayers during spring training in 1993 and attempted to inspire them about teamwork — a businessman’s mantra — before he realized the players’ focus was first on their own performance. “In business, a lot of times we hide behind teams and say that the team failed,” he said. “Well, the team didn’t fail; that pitcher lost the game. We don’t take enough personal responsibility.”

McLane, a third-generation grocery wholesaler and entrepreneur, is chairman of family-owned holding company McLane Group, based in Temple, which has owned and operated the Astros since 1992. The group also oversees Minute Maid Park; MC-McLane International, involved in global imports and exports; software solutions company McLane Advanced Technologies; McLane International, Inc., which provides wholesale food distribution overseas; Classic Foods and LoneStar Plastics, both based in Fort Worth; Hometown Favorites, a nostalgic candy company; and CSP Magazine, the leading publication in the convenience store industry.

McLane’s businesses grew an average of 30 percent a year from 1966 to 1990, a testament to a leadership style in which he told students to “find the future” and direct employees toward it.

Expounding on the international aspect of his work and the networking that put him in business in such countries as Spain and Poland, McLane cautioned students to maintain their ethical standards no matter what other governments’ policies are.

“If you have a better idea, better plans and a better product,” he said, “it may be more complicated, but you’ll win.”

Categories: Departments, Executive Speakers, Students

In all the pictures of Sasha Childers from a spring break trip to London, her nose is red from the cold and she’s huddled in a sweater and beanie. But in spite of the chilly weather, the freshman business major — a Regents Scholar who had never before been outside Texas — loved everything about London.

Childers joined a group of 13 other business Regents Scholars, who are first-generation college students, on an all-expenses paid trip (donated by Mays supporters) to the UK’s capital city in March. They gawked at Leonardo Da Vinci’s unfinished artwork in the National Gallery of London, read 500-year-old prisoner inscriptions on the cell walls of the Tower of London, and saw the city from the London Eye. Above all, Childers said, she got to experience all the people and foods at the crossroads of history and culture that London represents.

Now Childers says she wants to study abroad, spending a semester in Spain or France as part of her college education and maybe adding an international business certificate to her program of study. “When I got there I was just in awe. Everything in me just paused for a minute,” she says of the moment she realized she was 4,860 miles from home. No one in her family has been abroad, she explains. “Now I have this desire to travel, now I want to see so many things.”

The week-long trip was just a taste of the global environment that today’s business students must be prepared to interact with in their careers, says Sonia Garcia, undergraduate recruitment coordinator for Mays and a trip chaperone. Garcia and Associate Dean Martha Loudder chose 14 of the 51 Regents Scholars in the business school for the trip based on impassioned essays explaining what they hoped to gain from an international experience. The trip was sponsored by John Speer ’71 of, Kevin and Jennifer Heard, and Loudder, along with her husband George.

“This really expanded their horizons and taught them to be dependent on themselves and to really get along in a different place,” Garcia says. “They became aware that there’s more to the world than Texas. And the more traveled you are, the more of an edge you have in business.”

Categories: Students

Donald Fraser, finance professor and holder of the Hugh Roy Cullen Chair in Business, and Chase Professor of Finance James Kolari were both ranked among the most prolific authors in finance literature by the Journal of Finance Literature this spring.

“Prolific Authors in the Finance Literature: A Half Century of Contributions” ranks the most-published finance scholars worldwide from 1953 to 2002. Article authors Phillip L. Cooley and Jean L. Heck examined 17,573 scholars who published in 72 peer-reviewed scholarly journals.

Fraser, a 30-year veteran Mays professor, has penned or co-authored 12 books and published more than 100 articles in leading finance journals. He is ranked No. 26 most-published by the journal.

He has served as associate editor of the Journal of Banking and Finance, Journal of Financial Research,Journal of the Midwest Finance Association and as a member of the Editorial Review Board of the Journal of Retail Banking.

Kolari has taught at Mays since 1980 and has written eight co-authored books and more than 50 scholarly articles. He is ranked No. 361 most prolific of the total 17,000 authors reviewed in the most-published scholar list.

Previously a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in 1982 and a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Helsinki and Bank of Finland in 1986, Kolari has been a consultant to the U.S. Small Business Administration, American Bankers Association, Independent Bankers Association of America and U.S. Information Agency.

Categories: Departments, Faculty, Research Notes

Four master’s students in the land economics and real estate (LERE) program took second place in the first-ever National Association of Industrial and Office Parks’ Texas Shootout, a real estate academic challenge hosted by the association’s North Texas chapter.

Mays’ team of Tanya Janiszewsky, Gerald Klassen, Eric Earnhart and Wes Krutsinger was awarded a $5,000 prize for the case study they presented to Texas real estate industry judges at the end of March. They analyzed a Mexican resort hotel based on an actual transaction by Goldman Sachs. The team also networked with executive-level real estate professionals as part of the Shootout.

“This is evidence that our students have all the requisite skills to face the analytical and communication challenges required in the job marketplace,” said Cydney Donnell, director of real estate programs for Mays.

Selected graduate programs from around the state were invited to the Shootout. SMU took first, and TCU claimed third in the event. Other competitors included the University of Texas at Austin, the University of North Texas and Rice.

Categories: Centers, Faculty, Programs, Students


Mays came away among the top 15 public schools for undergraduates in BusinessWeek‘s first ranking of undergraduate programs, released in late April. Mays ranked 13th public and 34th overall in the magazine, which polled students and corporate recruiters to rate the best schools in terms of career outcomes, student experience and job placement.

The school ranked 12th best in terms of student satisfaction, or 5th best among the public schools. Mays also scored high with an “A+” for its facilities and services, which puts the school among the top 20 percent, and an “A” for its job placement success.

“We are pleased to be included in the inaugural BusinessWeek ranking,” said Mays Dean Jerry Strawser. “Receiving high marks for placement is important, as it tells me that our faculty are doing an outstanding job in preparing students for their initial professional careers. Our student satisfaction measure also indicates that, in addition to a great education and great job opportunities, our staff provide outstanding customer service to our students.”

May 2005 graduates reported an 86 percent success rate in finding employment or being accepted into graduate school. More than 490 companies posted jobs for undergraduate business students through Texas A&M’s Career Center during 2004-2005, a 45 percent increase from the prior academic year. Among them were 88 Fortune 500 companies.

Mays’ business education complex is equipped with the latest technology and wireless access throughout the building, and includes the Business Library & Collaboration Commons, a dedicated business research library open 24/5. The school’s Reliant Energy Securities and Commodities Trading Center is also ground zero for giving students first-hand experience with state-of-the-art trading and risk management platforms.

The business school is also implementing an innovative program that lasts students’ entire undergraduate careers and arms them with business and life skills in integrative learning communities. Called “Transitions” because it shepherds the transition into college, through college and on to students’ professional lives, the program will be offered to all 850 incoming freshman in fall 2006.

“Transitions is based on the core competencies that we have identified with the help of our faculty, students and business partners — communications, problem solving, creativity, leadership, teamwork, ethics and globalization,” says Associate Dean Martha L. Loudder. “This program will further improve student and employer satisfaction with the education we are providing.”

BusinessWeek judges business schools based on five measures, from recruiter and student surveys to academic quality, teaching quality, and the starting salaries and career outcomes of graduates.

The undergraduate business program is already among the top 20 public schools in the nation, ranked 19th in U.S. News & World Report‘s 2006 rankings. The general news magazine also rates the undergraduate management program 11th public, and the undergraduate accounting program 16th public. In the Public Accounting Report‘s professor’s survey in 2005, the accounting undergraduate program came in 4th public and 7th overall.

Learn more about the BusinessWeek rankings at


Categories: Departments, Faculty, Programs