Howard Horne ’47 knows about both business and personal success. He also knows that his success was enriched by his years at Texas A&M University. That’s why he recently included Mays Business School in his estate plan with a gift of $500,000.
“I wanted to give back to the school what I felt it’s given to me,” said Horne. “I know that part of all the success I’ve had has ties to A&M.”
His gift will establish the Howard Horne ’47 Endowed Professorship in Commercial Real Estate, which will be used to recruit and develop a faculty member in the area where Horne himself has achieved so much.
“One of the most gratifying parts of my job is when successful former students recognize the importance of giving back to the institution that helped them become successful,” said Ricky Griffin, interim dean of Mays Business School. “We are very appreciative of Howard Horne’s generosity and know that his gift will help us advance our real estate program.”
Horne’s academic career was interrupted early on by World War II. After putting his corps training to use in the Air Force during that war, he returned to finish his degree in business administration. After graduation, he returned to his hometown of Houston to join his father’s business, the W.A. Horne Company.
With Horne’s help, the company flourished, growing from a three-man operation to a hugely profitable real estate brokerage staffed by 250 people. In this business, Horne says, “you have to learn to live by your wits.” That’s why he appreciated A&M’s emphasis on entrepreneurship, which taught him how to see opportunities and take measured risks. He hopes that, through his gift, the next generation can receive the training necessary to enter this exciting field.
Later on, Horne’s own son, Howard, Jr., joined the business, which eventually became The Horne Company. Recently Horne sold the company to Cushman & Wakefield, a global real estate firm, but he still remains active in the organization.
Giving to causes and groups that are important to him is a big part of Horne’s life. “It’s necessary to provide for others what was provided for meâ€¦I was not born into wealth, and that’s why A&M was a godsend for me. It was affordable.”
“I get a great deal of enjoyment from reading about my classmates in the association’s magazine. I hope that what I’m doing, others will read about and be encouraged to do the same,” he said, in reference to his estate gift.
Horne has been married to his bride, Carrie, for 51 years. They have two children and three grandchildren.