Longtime friends and classmates Doris and Charles Brown ’61, and Barbara and Julian “Barry” Coon ’61 have teamed up to create a $250,000 endowment with the Texas A&M Foundation. Their gift, in the form of real estate, will establish scholarships at Texas A&M University in both the Mays Business School Department of Accounting and the College of Science.
“It’s truly wonderful when our former students step forward to help ensure a quality education for today’s students. The generosity shown by Doris and Charles Brown will help us not only maintain a great accounting program but help make it even better,” said Ricky Griffin, interim dean at Mays.
“Barry Coon has been a friend to the College of Science for a long time,” said Dr. H. Joseph Newton, dean of the College of Science. “This gift only serves to enhance his and Barbara’s already impressive legacy of giving back to help future Aggies establish themselves as successful scientific leaders of their own generation.”
When Brown and Coon became friends in high school in the ’50s, they were not the successful businessmen they are today. They were just Charlie and Barry, young men in pursuit of their respective degrees and goals. They both attended Texas A&M and graduated in 1961; Brown with a degree in accounting, and Coon with a degree in physics. During their time at Texas A&M, the friends served together in the Corps of Cadets. They further cemented their friendship when they married girls who lived next door to each other and were also friends. The couples were married within a week of each other, 46 years ago.
Today Brown is a real estate lawyer, representing mortgage companies through his firm, Brown and Shapiro. Coon worked in both the academic and industrial sectors, serving five years on the faculty at the University of Houston and then 22 years with ConocoPhillips, where he recently retired as vice president of upstream technology.
Brown said he is pleased to give to Mays Business School because of the solid education he received at Texas A&M. “I really think it is a good school for accounting. I think it’s an even better school now than when I went there,” he said, citing the high pass rates for students taking the CPA exam.
The Browns’ gift will establish the Doris and Charles A. Brown ’61 Scholarship in Accounting. The distributions from this endowed gift will be used to provide funds for full-time students pursuing a degree in the Department of Accounting at Texas A&M University.
Brown and his wife Doris reside in Houston. They have two grown children, Jim and Karen, and three grandchildren: Thomas, Isabella, and Benjamin.
The Coons’ portion of the gift will be combined with an additional $55,000 from a second real estate gift to create the Barbara and Julian B. “Barry” Coon ’61 Scholarship, which will provide funds to benefit deserving full-time students pursuing degrees in the College of Science.
As a longtime member and former chair of the College of Science External Advisory & Development Council from 1998-99, Coon is no stranger to supporting science programs, personnel and causes. He says he and Barbara chose to fund general scholarships because they are firm believers in the value of education â€” particularly the unique kind offered at Texas A&M.
“The sort of training and technical education Texas A&M students get, which is reinforced by the culture, is the kind of thing that is appreciated in the private sector,” Coon said. “Texas A&M turns out students who are prepared, not only technically, but also to be contributing members of society. Barbara and I really enjoy being able to support and reward those who have shown they’re willing to work and perform academically in order to be productive citizens.”
The Coons, who live in College Station, have two grown children, Julianne and Robert, as well as six grandchildren.
Mays Business School currently enrolls more than 4,000 undergraduate students and 875 graduate students. Mays is nationally ranked among public business schools for the quality of its undergraduate program, MBA program and the faculty scholarship of its 105 professors in five departments.
As the scientific core of Texas A&M University, the College of Science provides the required mathematical and science foundations for all Texas A&M majors, teaching 20 percent of the university’s total semester credit hours, or one in every five classroom hours logged by its 45,000 students. The college annually conducts more than $35 million in sponsored research in pursuit of scholarly knowledge and technical solutions that benefit our world.