Mays Business School at Texas A&M University gave the inaugural Peggy and Lowry Mays Impact Award Thursday, April 6, to the namesakes of the award during the 25th-Year Anniversary Outstanding Alumni Awards Dinner.
The award was created to recognize outstanding contributions to the vision and mission of the school. Recipients must exhibit a long and distinguished record of impacting Mays Business School in significant ways, which include exemplary giving and strong leadership.
This year’s recipients are Peggy and Lowry Mays – the namesakes of the award and of the business school, which they have elevated to higher levels for several decades.
Lowry Mays, a 1957 graduate of Texas A&M’s business school, is the founder of Clear Channel Communications, and an avid supporter of Texas A&M. He has been actively engaged in advancing the quality of Texas A&M University. His service includes his appointment to The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents, where served two non-consecutive terms (1985 to 1991 and 2001 to 2007), including chairman from 2003 to 2005.
He and his wife Peggy have established The Mays Family Foundation to perpetuate their personal philanthropy.
Texas A&M University Michael K. Young said he is delighted to have the name Mays attached to Texas A&M’s business school. “Your contributions as a business leader really set the example of a transformational leader,” he said. “This award represents what we look for in our alumni.”
After being presented the award, Mays recalled his days as a Texas A&M System Regent, when Tyson Voelkel – current president of the Texas A&M Foundation – was the student regent and Ed Davis was president of the Texas A&M Foundation.
At the dinner, three former students were recognized as 2017 Outstanding Alumni honorees of Mays:
Gregory M. Cokinos ’79 earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration (management) in 1979 and a JD from South Texas College of Law in 1981.
He is managing partner and founder of Cokinos Young, the largest law firm in Texas concentrating on construction and real estate law. He has more than 30 years of experience as a civil trial attorney and also has experience in contract negotiations, and all aspects of trial law, including personal injury, commercial litigation, and arbitration.
He has been named one of the Top 100 Super Lawyers in Texas every year since 2007 and has maintained a Tier 1 ranking by Chambers USA for several years.
He said at the dinner he decided at age 13 he wanted to be lawyer, and his life was improved when he changed his major at Texas A&M to business. “This award is humbling for me because of the business school and its great reputation – in large part because of the deans who keep pushing this school higher and higher,” he said.
Cydney Collier Donnell ’81 is an executive professor and associate head of the Department of Finance at Mays, where she teaches graduate-level classes in real estate capital markets and has taught undergraduate level finance classes. She is also the director of Real Estate Programs at Mays, overseeing the Master of Real Estate Program and undergraduate real estate finance classes.
She previously was the managing director for European Investors in New York City, where she managed more than $3 billion in real estate securities on behalf of U.S. pension funds, foundations, endowments and high-net-worth clients.
Donnell graduated magna cum laude from Texas A&M with a bachelor’s degree in finance and received an MBA from Southern Methodist University in 1982.
Carri Lynn Baker ’84, a dedicated advocate for public education, has transformed and led many organizations benefiting K-12 and higher education throughout Texas. The third woman to receive the Association of Former Students’ Distinguished Alumnus Award at Texas A&M University, she has served on numerous committees.
For 32 years, Baker has been a key executive and chief operations officer for San Antonio-based Linebarger Goggan Blair and Sampson, a law firm that represents governments and school districts throughout the U.S.
She received a bachelor’s degree in marketing in 1984.
For more information about the awards, visit mays.tamu.edu/alumni/outstanding-alumni-award/