An endowed scholarship has been created to honor Roy G. Martin Jr. ’76, the driving force behind the Real Estate Center’s most popular seminar, the annual Legal Seminar on Ad Valorem Taxation.

With initial funding of $25,000 from the center, the endowment fund grew to $68,000 in less than a month. The endowment will generate scholarships for students enrolled in the Master of Real Estate program at Mays Business School.

Martin, a 1979 graduate of the program, is the senior vice president for ad valorem tax at Valero Energy.

“Through Roy’s energy and vision, there has been a transformation of Texas property tax practices,” says Richard Floyd, former center director and conference co-organizer. “Roy is an extremely humble man who much prefers to promote the accomplishments of others. This scholarship recognizes his consistent and relentless efforts to promote professionalism through education. It is a fitting legacy to his efforts.”

Mays dean Jerry Strawser said the Roy G. Martin, Jr. Endowed Scholarship “is a wonderful example of the partnership between the Real Estate Center and our academic programs … The center’s activities and outreach provide a unique platform for our students and faculty and enhance the quality of our programs and graduates.”

Gary Maler, director of the Real Estate Center, says Martin is deeply respected by other professionals in the property tax field for his expertise and prowess as a tough negotiator. “Martin’s energy and contacts make the Real Estate Center’s largest seminar by attendance (the Legal Seminar on Ad Valorem Taxation) a possibility,” Maler explains. The scholarship was announced at the 25th annual seminar in San Antonio, which had 600 attendees.

Maler calls the seminar “Roy’s brainchild,” and says it is unique in that it “combines in one room the assessors imposing the taxes as well as corporate tax representatives, tax professionals and attorneys representing the entities being taxed … The equitable interchange of what might seem to be conflicting points of view and interests actually makes for the most innovative and informative program of its kind anywhere in the country.”

Maler added that, given Martin’s contributions to the property tax field and to the Real Estate Center, it was fitting for the center to honor him by endowing and naming a scholarship for him. “The immediate and generous financial contributions of Roy’s friends will enable scholarships to be offered to students in the Master of Real Estate Program in the first year of the scholarship’s existence,” Maler says. “Scholarships and the funds they generate are key to attracting and retaining students in one of the nation’s leading graduate level real estate programs. It is also an important way the Center supports the academic mission of Mays Business School.”