Second only to his family and friends, Clay Aderholt loved Texas A&M University, Mays Business School and the Christian fraternity Aggie Men’s Club. After Clay died in a car accident in May 2013 at age 36, a group of his best friends wanted to raise money to help Clay’s wife Allison and their two young children.
A host committee, chaired by Trey Able ’98, organized a golf tournament at Miramont Country Club in Bryan, and almost 100 people showed up to play and share stories about Clay. He had built a network of friends as a finance student at Mays, then as senior vice president of corporate banking with Texas Capital Bank. He and his family had deep roots in the Boerne community where they lived.
Able said he wanted to do something that would honor Clay. “It wasn’t all about golf. It was about getting together all these people who were from the different areas of Clay’s life and allowing them all to share stories and bond over his memories,” Able said. “We had carpools of people from lots of different areas of the state and different areas of his life – most of whom had never met, but who had Clay in common.”
The tournament netted $75,000 – enough to create a college fund for the two Aderholt children along with the Clay Aderholt ’99 Memorial Scholarship Fund, which provides two-year scholarships for four full-time Mays undergraduate students who are members of Aggie Men’s Club.
Allison raved about the golf event – especially the goodie bags filled with “Clay’s favorites”: A koozie in his favorite camo pattern and a chocolate chip cookie. The location of the tournament was fitting, too, she said, because he loved Aggieland so. “I felt like Clay bled maroon more and more, the longer he was away from there,” she said.
When the time came to select the scholarship recipients, the committee was headed up by Ben Welch, who is an academic advisor for Aggie Men’s Club as well as an assistant dean at Mays’ Center for Executive Development and a clinical professor in the Department of Management. That was fitting because Clay “really looked to Ben as a father figure,” Allison said.
At the 2014 Mays scholarship banquet, Clay’s wife, best friend and mentor got to sit with the recipients of his scholarships. “It was an honor to meet them and to hear about their plans,” Able said. “Even though they didn’t know Clay, they were carrying on his dreams, and that was good to hear.”
Ricky Griffin, interim dean of Mays Business School, expressed his appreciation for the project. “A gift that benefits our students while also honoring the memory of one of our beloved alumni often carries special significance,” he said. “The futures of Clay Aderholt’s wife and children have been eased by the generosity of so many of his friends.”
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Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,600 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in accounting, finance, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.