To survive in the corporate world, a solid business education is a must. L.E. Simmons knows that the Business Honors program at Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School prepares its students for real-world success after graduation. Supporting the education of future business leaders is important to Simmons, which is why he and his wife, Virginia, recently agreed to give $100,000 to establish the Virginia and L.E. Simmons Family Foundation Honors Scholarship at Mays Business School.
The Simmons’ scholarship will support students in the Business Honors program, which pairs the best students and faculty in small class sizes to facilitate discussion and greater exploration of the subject matter. In addition, students in the program participate in leadership, personal, and professional development events.
“Affordable and high-quality education is a vital stepping-stone in life,” said Mays Dean Jerry Strawser. “The Business Honors program is our premier training ground for our best and brightest students. We are so thankful to the Simmons for their gift, which will enable more young people to join our program and realize their true potential.”
Simmons and his wife did not attend Texas A&M University, but say they have always admired the school and the achievements of its faculty, staff, and students. When their son, William ’11, graduated from high school, A&M was his one and only choice for college, increasing the Simmons’ ties to the university. William entered the Business Honors program in his first year of college, but has since put his business education on hold to do mission work in Santiago, Chile. He plans to return to Mays after a two-year sabbatical to finish his degree. The Simmons’ daughter, Virginia, is a junior at her father’s alma mater, the University of Utah, and plans to pursue a career in elementary education.
After earning his undergraduate degree, Simmons attended the London School of Economics and later completed an MBA at Harvard Business School. In 1974, Simmons moved to Houston to begin his own investment-banking firm, Simmons & Company, specializing in financial advising for the energy industry. In 1988, Simmons began SCF Partners, another investment firm, where he continues to work today.
In addition to his professional accomplishments, Simmons has served as chairman of the board for the Texas Children’s Hospital and continues as a board member currently. He also belongs to the North American Advisory Council for the London School of Economics, is a trustee for Rice University, is a member of the Harvard Business School visitor’s committee, and is chairman of the board for the Houston Endowment, the state’s largest foundation. Virginia Simmons is also involved in a number of community activities, giving a large portion of her time to organizations such as Trees for Houston and the LDS Church.
Simmons explains that he and his wife are thankful for their adoption into the Aggie family and want to give as many students as possible the opportunity to realize the positive effects of the business program. “Mays Business School does not only teach good business principles, but more importantly, it places a high focus on integrity and collaboration with other institutions, something we feel is of the utmost importance,” he said.