“Call it what you want, “paying it forward’ or “giving back,’ there comes a time when you honor those who have helped to shape you,” says Mark Ely ’83, who with his wife, Janet, has recently committed to a gift of $150,000 to create an endowed scholarship fund for business honors students at Mays. The gift will be matched by funds from the Center for Executive Development to create a $300,000 endowment. The fund will provide support for students of any major that participate in the honors program, as well as students who declare an honors major.
EBR Energy founder and managing partner Mark Ely ’83 (seen here speaking to students last fall), along with his wife, Janet, has committed to a gift of $150,000 to create an endowed scholarship fund for business honors students at Mays.
Through this gift, Ely hopes to honor those that have impacted his career, including Mays benefactor Jerry Cox ’72. Ely calls Cox an outstanding individual who unselfishly provided mentoring at critical junctures in his career. Cox is someone Ely tries to emulate, as he is “a model citizen and business leader.” Cox has given generously to Mays in previous years, most notably providing the lead gift for Jerry and Kay Cox Hall, the home of Mays’ graduate programs, which is adjacent to the Wehner Building.
“A few years ago, Jerry sent [development officer] David Hicks and Dean Strawser to visit with me about getting involved in financially supporting the dean’s efforts at Mays. It took a couple of years to see the light, but there was never any doubt about what I needed to do,” said Ely. “When I met Dean Strawser and had an opportunity to experience his vision for the business school, it was quickly apparent why individuals like Jerry Cox were so committed to supporting the effort. I remain duly impressed.”
The Ely gift will support Strawser’s strategic vision for Mays, which includes greater emphasis on scholarships for business honors students.
“Mark and Janet’s most generous gift helps Mays compete for the very best undergraduate students in our business honors program,” said Strawser. “They will touch the lives of these students, while also providing them with role models for a lifetime. I just can’t think of how more impactful any gift could be than this.”
Mark and Janetâ€”whom he calls “the center of [his] universe,”â€”will celebrate 20 years of marriage this June. They have two children, Avery and Emily, and live and work in Sugar Land, Texas. Ely is the founder and managing partner of EBR Energy, LP, an oil and gas exploration company. Prior work includes financial restructuring consulting, a CFO position with The Synder Company, and banking. He holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from Texas A&M University, and pursued graduate studies at A&M Corpus Christi.