Harvard-educatedÂ L.E. SimmonsÂ knows about the values of Aggies in business: He has worked with Texas A&M graduates in Houston’s oilfield services sector for decades. But it wasn’t until he toured Mays with his son last fall that he realized how impressed he was with the students, programs and Aggie standards that could shape a business career.
Thinking of the Aggie leaders he has watched in business, Simmons wanted to support the institution that molded their careers. And he wanted to help to mold future careers. So he decided to endow a $25,000 scholarship fund, creating the Avalon Advisors Scholarship for full-time students at Mays.
The scholarship is named after Avalon Advisors and its partner, Willie Langston ’81, an A&M graduate Simmons has watched over the years. “Langston is just so supportive of A&M, and he exemplifies what A&M is all about,” Simmons explains. “Scholarships are always meaningful to students, and I wanted to tie that meaning to a firm Aggies can be proud of.”
Simmons grew up in rural Utah, the son of a savvy bank teller who rose to become chairman of Zions Bancorporation in Salt Lake City. Dinnertime conversations sparked an early interest in business, and Simmons earned his degree in economics from the University of Utah (finishing at the London School of Economics) in 1970 and an MBA from Harvard in 1972. He moved to Houston with brother Matt to establish Simmons & Company in the 1970s, eventually starting SCF Partners, a private equity firm specializing in energy services companies located throughout the world.
Simmons and his wife, Ginny, have been married for 23 years and have two children: Virginia, a freshman in the Honors Program at the University of Utah, and William, who is expected to join the Business Honors Program at Mays this fall.