Ralph Wallingford ’53 knows the meaning of dedication. The Franklin-raised Aggie’s days as a Ross Volunteer in the Corps of Cadets taught him the importance of giving 110% effort in every task, be it school or extracurricular activities during his years at Texas A&M University. So many years later, the Corps-taught ideal of perseverance coupled with a top-notch accounting education have been the perfect formula for Wallingford’s success, something he wants to pass on to future generations of Aggie business students. For this reason, Wallingford and his wife Toni have included Mays Business School in an estate plan with a gift that could total $1.3 million.
“We appreciate the extreme generosity of Toni and Ralph Wallingford,” said Mays Dean Jerry Strawser. “Their gift to our school will touch numerous lives and have significant benefits to our faculty, staff, students, and programs for years to come.”
After graduating from Texas A&M University with an accounting degree, Wallingford’s spirit of dedication to his country led him to military service. When he returned to civilian life, Wallingford went to work for Ernst & Ernst, which would eventually become one of the top accounting firms, Ernst & Young. Wallingford was determined to build his own success, which he did by establishing an accounting firm, Wallingford, McDonald, Fox & Company in Houston.
“Texas A&M has been a very important part of my life. All of my success is a result of the education that I received during the years I spent there,” said Wallingford.
As a former partner in his own accounting firm, Wallingford acknowledges the talented graduates that come out of Mays, explaining that the well-rounded education they receive is unlike that of any other business program. “I hope this gift helps strengthen Mays Business School even more. It is already far above many others in its realm,” added Wallingford, whose enthusiasm for providing students with educational opportunities has helped fund the General Rudder Corps Scholarship.
Though the time he spent building an accounting career was well worth it, with credits to his name such as a position as the former president of the Houston CPA chapter, Wallingford says that he is enjoying all of the benefits of retired life and just “taking it easy” in his Houston home.Â He says his Aggieland memories are only a phone call away, as he still maintains contact with many classmates from his Ross Volunteer days.