If a school can be judged by the success of its graduates, Mays Business School at Texas A&M University has something to brag about. While many Mays alumni have gone on to be successful business people, marketplace leaders, and academicians, a handful of top PhD graduates have achieved an exalted position that has a direct impact on the business leaders of tomorrow: dean of a business school.

Eli Jones, newly named dean of LSU’s E.J. Ourso College of Business, has three degrees from Texas A&M.

One such graduate, Eli Jones, recently returned to the A&M campus to address a group of students. This summer Jones will take up the top position at the E.J. Ourso College of Business at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.

Jones is a three time Aggie, as he graduated from A&M with a bachelor’s degree in 1982, an MBA in 1986, and a PhD in marketing in 1997. Prior to his appointment at LSU, Jones was an associate dean and professor of marketing at the University of Houston where he worked for 11 years.

“Eli was one of our most outstanding doctoral students in the mid 90s,” said Jeff Conant, head of the marketing department at Mays. “From the first moment I met Eli, I knew he was destined for greatness and major leadership roles. He understands the multiple missions of large universities and has personally made effective teaching, conducting relevant research, and serving our discipline through professional service a high priority in his career.”

While visiting campus, Jones taught a session on marketing to high school students participating in a weeklong Business Careers Awareness Program. He engaged the young learners with his dynamic teaching style and examples from the real world his audience would understand. From Starbucks coffee to Lays potato chips, Jones drew applications from today’s marketplace to show the students the importance of marketing.

Jones is not alone in his new job title. Several other Mays PhD alumni from recent years have also attained the position of dean. Foremost among them is Jerry Strawser “85, who is the dean of Mays Business School, currently serving as interim executive vice president and provost for the university. Denise Smart “84 is the dean of the McCoy College of Business Administration at Texas State University—San Marcos. Frederick Niswander “93 is dean of the college of business at East Carolina University. James Gaertner “77 was formerly dean of the business school at the University of Texas and is now president of Sam Houston State University in Huntsville. Roberto Solano Mendez “94 served for several years as dean of the business school at the Universidad de las Américas in Puebla, Mexico.