Texas A&M University’s Center for Retailing Studies at Mays Business School hosted campuswide H-E-B Day on Oct. 20. Executive leaders from the San Antonio-based retailer, including presidents, vice presidents and directors, will address more than 3,000 students in more than 30 classrooms across campus during the event.

“There is a tremendous culture match between H-E-B and Texas A&M. We both value history, service to others, excellence, people, respect, and leadership. Aggies who begin careers at H-E-B, both in stores and in corporate roles, thrive because behaviors that often motivate them to succeed personally and professionally are encouraged, even expected, at H-E-B,” says Kelli Hollinger, director of the Center for Retailing Studies (CRS).

hebday2015-2As one of H-E-B’s top university partners serving as a pipeline to talent, this interdisciplinary and educational event will also introduce students to various career opportunities at the retailer, which is also Texas’s largest privately-held company.

Freshmen through graduate students heard from H-E-B’s business leaders as they share day-to-day solutions for diverse, real-world workplace challenges for grocers, such as constructing stores, evaluating meat, globally sourcing products and managing technical systems.

According to Hollinger, the mission at CRS and through this event is to “showcase the many rewarding career paths that enable great retail companies to introduce unique products to their customers at the right time and place that encourages shoppers to return to stores as loyal, profitable customers.”

Executives from H-E-B coordinate with hosting professors to customize content for each class based on what students have been studying throughout the fall semester. By addressing classes across different majors – including marketing, agri-business, management, horticulture and information systems – the event communicates to students that the multibillion-dollar grocery chain encompasses all academic and business fields.

Ross Giambalvo, director of Manufacturing and Supply Chain Strategy explained H-E-B’s operational and financial decision making that go into justifying major capital investments. He challenged Supply Chain Management CMT students to evaluate expansion plans for an existing distribution center. To improve supply chain efficiency, H-E-B needs more space. Limited facility expansion would support two to three years of growth, however major expansion – planning five to seven years out – incurs interim financial losses from the facility being overbuilt for awhile.

Giambalvo reminded students that supply chain timelines in grocery are short, saying, “to preserve the freshness of eggs and milk, stock is maintained to only a half-day supply.”

Vic Nivens advised students to “be yourself” when applying for careers or internships. “Keep it real. It’s okay to be nervous, but take time to stop and think through interview questions for the best answer.” Nivens, the director of recruitment for the San Antonio Division, said that he looks for candidates to be engaging, energized, and with a great smile.

As a leader in H-E-B’s human resources department, Nivens said he believes H-E-B’s focus on its people makes the company unique. Store managers are given flexibility and autonomy to make decisions based on local needs. For example, his team met with partners (the term H-E-B uses for store employees) affected by the fires in Bastrop, Texas, to identify ways the best ways to aid them, such as hotels, supplies, food, insurance or mortgage advice. In a company that values people and community, Nivens concluded that his greatest accomplishment during his 20 years at H-E-B was “helping them get back on their feet after tragedy. At H-E-B we are a family, and that’s what families do.”

 

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Categories: Centers, Mays Business, News, Students, Texas A&M

The Executive MBA program at Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School is the top public university in Texas and maintains its place among the top 10 programs offered by U.S. public universities, according to rankings released Monday by Financial Times.

“We are proud to be ranked as the top public Executive MBA Program in the state of Texas and a Top 10 program in the nation,” said Eli Jones, dean of Mays Business School. “This significant achievement reflects the strength and dedication of the Mays Business School faculty and staff, along with the strong accomplishments of our seasoned executives. Mays is indeed making a positive impact on the communities we serve.”

This year’s rankings are based on feedback from the Class of 2012. The Mays EMBA Program ranked 4th among public schools located exclusively in the U.S and 13th among public/private schools in the U.S. In addition, the Mays program ranked 1st in work experience among U.S. public institutions (2nd among public/private), and 4th in career goals achieved among U.S. public institutions (8th among public/private).

Mays fared well in the 2015 Financial Times rankings in other areas as well. Based on the research productivity in the top 45 journals in business, Mays faculty ranked 8th among U.S. public schools and 15th among U.S. public/private. The Mays doctoral program placed 8th among U.S. public schools and 13th among U.S. public/private – up from 14th and 23rd in 2014. Ranking of doctoral programs is based on the placement of graduates as faculty at the top business schools worldwide.

 

Categories: Mays Business, News, Programs, Texas A&M

The 2015 Retailing Summit celebrated its 30th year by focusing on innovation, the empowered customer and omnichannel retailing. The Center for Retailing Studies at Mays Business School hosted the Oct. 8-9 event at the Westin Galleria in Dallas.

Over two days, nearly 275 attendees explored how to make retail better through improved customer interactions, one-to-one marketing and store enhancements. Executives from JCPenney, Bluemercury, Mission Athletecare, The Futures Company, UPS, Pinot’s Palette, MasterCard Advisors and NatureBox headlined the conference, which also included two panels on technology innovation and retaining top talent.

THE SKY IS THE LIMIT: PERFORMANCE IN ACTION

Former U.S. Navy Blue Angel pilot John Foley kicked off the Retailing Summit conference with the empowering “Glad To Be Here®” mantra. His enthusiasm radiated as he recalled stories from his precision flying days, where he was nicknamed “Gucci” by fellow pilots.

In order to achieve their peak performance, Foley advised attendees to:

  1. Examine their present situation
  2. Define where they would like to be
  3. Focus on the positives that can help guide them there

Former U.S. Navy Blue Angels pilot John Foley with Katie Burroughs, Haley Gooch and Lindsay La Rosa from the Master’s in Marketing program.

According to Foley, research confirms that when a person feels satisfaction with where they are, they become more grateful, positive and productive. Companies can also foster teamwork by channeling positive visualization techniques.

MEET THE CENTENNIALS: WHO THEY ARE AND HOW THEY WILL IMPACT RETAIL

Youth marketing to the millennial customer is officially over.

Erik Medina, vice president of The Futures Company, defined millennials as the age group of 19- to 34-year-olds. His research through the TRU Youth Monitor dubbed the up-and-coming generation of those between 12 and 18 years of age as “centennials.”

Compared to their predecessors, centennials are more focused on mobile versus the internet, have faced financial upheaval and want to take a stand for something by supporting companies associated with a cause.

Centennials are also more inclined to want to buy niche products. They are interested in the “maker movement,” alongside the rise of Etsy and customized product choices. They view the future with wariness and grasp that personal success is not a guarantee in life. They are less concerned with fitting in and they value individual uniqueness.

Medina praised GameStop as a retailer effectively serving the centennial customer with fun, tech-savvy and personalized shopping experiences.

 TECHNOLOGY INNOVATION AND THE IN-STORE TRANSFORMATION

Fittingly, the 2015 Retailing Summit featured the man behind GameStop’s store innovations: Jeff Donaldson, SVP of the GameStop Technology Institute. Donaldson led a panel discussion, which profiled companies that are revolutionizing their businesses through technology.

Moderated by Debbie Hauss, editor in chief of Retail TouchPoints, the panel also included Scott Emmons, enterprise architect for Neiman Marcus, and Michelle Bogan, partner at Kurt Salmon.

When defining what innovation meant to them, Emmons said building stronger customer relationships and Donaldson said innovation can either be a new idea or a reinvention of something old, by creating a novel approach. For example, a low-tech solution that customers embraced at Neiman Marcus included in-store charging stations, which encouraged customers to stay and shop longer.

Each also agreed that innovation directly correlates with growth.  “The pace of change internally must exceed the pace of change externally,” Donaldson said.

The panel also briefly touched on incubator communities like REVTECH in Dallas — places where mentors guide entrepreneurs who are looking to refine their startup business ideas.

Forecasting hot trends, Bogan highlighted the increase of “buy” buttons on social media. She also mentioned the rise of subscription box offerings, including Birchbox. Donaldson said GameStop will look to crowdsourcing as it develops new products.

PAINT. DRINK. HAVE FUN. FIGHTING “A FAD” WITH INNOVATION AND CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

Combining the wine and DIY art industries, Craig Ceccanti, co-founder and CEO of Pinot’s Palette launched his entrepreneurial and franchise concept in 2009. With more than 150 locations in 33 states, Ceccanti credits integrating innovation into his business plan and company culture as key to his success.

Franchise owners are expected to introduce new sales promotions, painting designs, and process improvements by reviewing customer surveys, asking for direct feedback, and effectively using customer data to stay relevant. Because, as Ceccanti concluded, complacency and “becoming a fad [will] make you vigorously prepared to not become one.”

BEYOND OMNI-CHANNEL: HOW TO REACH THE SPENDING CONSUMER

Sarah Quinlan, VP of Market Insights at MasterCard Advisors, debunked several retail myths by analyzing economic data from 2015 credit card transactions.

According to Quinlan, increased competitiveness from small businesses who provide superior customer service and specialized product offerings has driven down retail sales at department stores and other mass merchants. With reduced gas prices, consumers have additional disposable income that they have opted to spend on travel, at restaurants and on durable goods instead of apparel or more “stuff.”

Although ecommerce companies like Amazon are forcing traditional, physical stores to expand their offerings online, online-only companies like Warby Parker and Rent the Runway are opening brick-and-mortar stores to more personally engage with shoppers.

The store is and will always be the emotional heart and financial core of retail.

REDEFINING FOOD RETAIL: CREATING A WORLD OF ON-DEMAND INNOVATION, PERSONALIZATION, AND ACCESS

The Retailing Summit also featured healthy snacking subscription provider NatureBox, led by one of Inc.’s “30 under 30,” co-founder and CEO Gautam Gupta. Providing customers an algorithm-curated assortment based on previous purchases, NatureBox has become a leader using the business model of monthly replenishment.

Eighty percent of the nearly 5,000 new products introduced every quarter fail.

By mining its extraordinary data warehouse of customer flavor preferences, ingredients, etc. NatureBox reduced the product development cycle from 12 months to 12 weeks and increased its percentage of successful product launches.

SIMPLICITY THROUGH SUCCESS

RetailingSummit2015-48Newly named JCPenney CEO Marvin Ellison inspired the audience by detailing his career path at Target and Home Depot, and vision for JCPenney’s turnaround. JCPenney’s decline did not result from increased or new competition, a revolutionary technology or fewer customers, he said, but from a disaster in leadership.

To reverse the damage, Ellison pledged to attack differently. He started by plugging as many holes as possible and simplified the company’s strategic focus. Moving forward, each business decision will be evaluated on how it benefits JCPenney’s omnichannel strategy, growth of private brands and increase in revenue per customer.

JCPenney has turned the corner, and its future success hinges on a pledge for clarity of purpose and balance between the art and science of retail, he said

INNOVATION FOR THE SPECIALTY RETAIL CHANNEL

Newly acquired by Macy’s, Bluemercury—a friendly neighborhood store where customers can seek advice from “self-proclaimed beauty junkies who love people”—has high hopes of becoming the next “Starbucks of the makeup industry.”

Celebrating the mom-and-pop shopping experience, co-founder and chief operating officer Barry Beck described the company’s foundation as built on the three P’s: people, product and place.

Beck claims that Bluemercury’s people strategy is the chain’s secret weapon. By offering real career paths and higher wages, Bluemercury hires style consultants who have genuine client focus. Like “human Googlers,” they provide beauty solutions for customers, not just product recommendations.

The company, headquartered in Georgetown/Washington, D.C. has intentionally placed 14 stores within a 28-mile radius to increase brand awareness in the area.

According to Beck, innovation is important because “it’s a winner-takes-all game.”

THRIVING IN THE AGE OF THE EMPOWERED CONSUMER

With the expansion of ecommerce, home delivery is now integral to the customer experience. Steve Brill, Vice President for Global B2C Strategy for UPS, described the importance of strengthening relationships between retailers and delivery providers like UPS who interact directly with the purchaser.

Choice, control, and convenience top what customers want in efficient distance delivery. UPS recently created the “My Choice” program to allow people to select the most convenient delivery option when receiving a package, including flexibility on shipment date, delivery, location, etc. Brill identified this as an innovative response to the “situational need” that always accompanies shipping.

No single size delivery option fits all in an omnichannel world where options now include ship to store, ship from store and ecommerce returns.

RETAINING HIGH-PERFORMING PEOPLE

The second panel at the Retailing Summit, moderated by the Center for Retailing Studies’ Director Kelli Hollinger, sought to identify characteristics of high performing individuals and tactics for how companies can retain them.

Karyn Maynard, recruiting director at The Container Store, quoted the company’s philosophy that “one great person equals three good people.” She said it is essential when hiring to select the right candidate who can:

  • Speak up and contribute
  • Show perseverance
  • Nurture others

Karla Waddleton, division vice president at ALDI, Inc., said the German grocery chain tests the resiliency of new hires by challenging them with real responsibility. “We want to see their potential for leadership.”

According to Jennifer Lustig, senior director of human resources at PetSmart, employees want to feel valued. They also become more motivated when the career path for growth within the company is clearly outlined.

THE CLUTCH EN/INTREPRENEUR

Aggie graduate and football star Chris Valletta propelled himself from the NFL to the Apprentice to head entrepreneur and co-founder of Mission Athletecare. Inspired by basketball legend Michael Jordan, Valletta used his failures to work harder and perform under pressure—what he describes as being “clutch.”

Talent and motivation are not enough to set you apart, he explained. Having emotional intelligence or the ability to hold tight to your emotions while making decisions is key.

Being “clutch” requires being obsessed with details because the little things matter greatly.

Similar to a game of football, the retail landscape is constantly changing. You have to be able to adapt, think quickly and execute during the hard moments, he explained.

————-

Attendees also heard from breakout session leaders Matt Schmitt, President and Chief Innovation Strategy Officer at Reflect, with Lee Summers, Manager of Marketing and Technology at Nebraska Furniture Mart; Mathew Sweezy, Vice President of Marketing and Insights at Salesforce, with Aaron Stevens, Senior Sales Manager, Carrier Indirect & Regional Carrier at OtterBox; and, Jim Sturm, President and Chief Executive Officer at Brierley+Partners with representatives from Half-Price Books.

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The 2016 Retailing Summit will take place on Oct. 13-14 at the Westin Galleria in Dallas.

Visit retailingsummit.org for more information.

Categories: Centers, Departments, Mays Business, News, Staff, Students, Texas A&M, Uncategorized

Mays is launching a recently approved Master of Science in Business degree (MS Business) in 2016. It will provide students who did not major in business with core business knowledge, solid critical thinking skills and a basic understanding of leadership best practices—with emphases on experiential learning, teamwork and career preparation.

The plan is to accept the first class of 50 students in the summer of 2016. This program will provide one avenue to showcase innovation in education, which aligns with Dean Eli Jones’ goal of enhancing innovation in the business school.

The MS Business classes will not be offered in the traditional format of meeting twice per week for 15 weeks across a semester. Instead, the 17 courses for the program will be divided into five educational blocks. Courses in the first block are planned for three or four weeks in July and August. The remaining four blocks are planned to be seven weeks long with two blocks in the regular fall semester and two blocks in the regular spring semester. In addition, faculty who teach MS Business courses will be expected to look for innovative ways such as role playing, business simulations, games, and flipped classrooms to deliver their course material.

`Jon (Sean) Jastudnetssperson, academic director for the new program, says the program will showcase some of the latest innovations in higher education. “We plan to build a challenging, innovative learning environment for the MS Business students that incorporates educational best practices into the classroom,” he said. “The concentrated, block delivery schedule for the courses combined with role play, simulations, and flipped classroom active learning techniques will provide better engagement for students in the learning process.”

The MS Business program is 10 months long and is designed for non-business majors with less than 18 months of work experience after completing their undergraduate degree. Students coming directly from their undergraduate degree programs will be able to earn their bachelor’s and master’s degrees in five years.

The program provides students with a strong business foundation and the ability to excel as a leader in team environments. As a result, graduates of this program will have an accelerated career path. For instance, Jasperson said, if an aerospace engineering undergraduate student graduates from this program and begins his first job on a project team at an aeronautics company, he will be likely become the project team lead more quickly than his peers because of the knowledge and skills he developed in the MS Business program.

The 17 MS Business courses, equaling 36 credits hours, have been uniquely created for this program. The first block of courses will be considered the program bootcamp and include three courses covering the topics of value creation, career management and business collaboration. “Right from the start, students will learn how to create value in business, how to market themselves as they begin their search for a full-time job in the fall, and will learn Excel and other personal productivity tools,” Jasperson said. The remaining courses will be taught across the next three blocks and include coursework in the functional areas of business as well as courses in ethical decision making and international business. A business communications course will span the length of the program, and the capstone business experience course will continue throughout the spring semester.

 

 

 

 

 

Categories: Departments, Mays Business, News, Programs, Students, Texas A&M

Mays Business School leaders recognized two former students for academic excellence by giving them the Outstanding Doctoral Alumni Awards. One excels in marketing, another in information management.

The 2015 recipients are Glen B. Voss ’94 and Anandhi Bharadwaj ’93. Voss is the Marilyn and Leo Corrigan Endowed Professor of Marketing at the Cox School of Business at Southern Methodist University, and the Research Director for the SMU National Center for Arts Research. Bharadwaj is a professor of Information Systems & Operations Management at Goizueta Business School at Emory University.

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Each recipient spoke about their career, its beginnings, and how they have succeeded. Following their presentations was a question-and-answer session and then a reception. In the evening, the honorees and their spouses gathered for dinner at Madden’s in downtown Bryan, with members of their dissertation committees, as well as Eli Jones, Dean of Mays Business School; Bala Shetty, Interim Associate Dean for Graduate Programs; and Duane Ireland, Interim Executive Associate Dean.

Every year, the award honors doctoral graduates who have achieved significant distinction in their fields and serve as role models for current students. Among the characteristics demonstrated by current and past recipients of this prestigious award are:

  • sustained research productivity and visibility in the field;
  • service to the profession as editor of a major scholarly journal;
  • recipient of major awards for excellence in research, teaching and/or service;
  • academic and administrative leadership as dean or associate dean of a business school;
  • successful career progression at a peer or aspirant school; and
  • holder of an endowed position.

Voss received his Ph.D. in marketing from Mays in 1994. His research interests include innovation and organizational learning, satisfaction and relationship management, and retail pricing strategies. His work has been published in a variety of journals including Organization Science, Marketing Intelligence Review, Journal of Marketing, and The Economist’s Executive Briefing. Voss received the Faculty Recognition Award for Research Excellence at SMU for 2008-09, and was recognized as a Top-100 Cutting Edge Marketing Faculty by the American Marketing Association for the years 2000-2007. He is also the recipient of the 2011 Outstanding Reviewer Award for Journal of Service Research and twice recipient of the Outstanding Reviewer Award for Journal of Retailing in 2006 and 2010. Prior to his time SMU, Voss spent 12 years at North Carolina State University. Voss received a Bachelor in Communications at Rowan University, M.P.S in Hotel Administration from Cornell University and master’s in economics from University of California, Riverside.

Bharadwaj received her Ph.D. in Management Information Systems from Mays in 1993. Her specializations include organizational impacts of informational technology, business value of IT, Internet commerce, and effect of knowledge management technologies. She is currently a Goizueta Term Professor of Information Systems at Emory University, where she has worked for 20 years.  Bharadwaj is the recipient of the Runner Up for 2012 Best Published Paper Award of ICIS, the 2009 Best Paper Award of Journal of Strategic Information Systems and the 2007 Best Associate Editor Award, Information Systems Research. She received the Caldwell Faculty Fellowship Award at Goizueta Business School in 1997 and she was the recipient of the Doctoral Student Research Excellence Award at Texas A&M University. Prior to academia, Bharadwaj worked as a Senior Systems Executive at NIIT and a Deputy Manager at Aavin/Tamilnadu Milk Cooperative. In 1985, she received PGDRM from the Institute of Rural Management in Gujarat, India and a bachelor’s in mathematics from Madras University in Tamil Nadu, India in 1983.

Two previous winners have gone on to become deans of Mays: Jerry Strawser and Eli Jones.

Categories: Alumni, Mays Business, News, Ph.D., Texas A&M

Mike Hitt, Mays professor emeritus of management, was named the 2015 SMS Service Award Recipient for his significant contributions to the Strategic Management Society.

The award recognizes individuals who have given outstanding service to the Society and its members.

In addition to serving as director-at-large, treasurer and president, Hitt oversaw a change to more democratic governance, introduced an Interest Group structure, and he was integral to the creation of the Strategic Research Fund and the Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal. Hitt was in the management field for 40 years, and was given the inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award at Mays, where he was a University Distinguished Professor and Joe B. Foster ’56 Chair in Business Leadership.

He retired in the spring of 2015.Michael Hitt photo

Categories: Centers, Departments, Faculty, Mays Business, News, Texas A&M

Mays Business School Marketing Professor Leonard Berry co-wrote an article for Harvard Business Review on improving customer service in high-emotion customer experiences like cancer care. In “When the Customer is Stressed,” Berry and his colleagues identify reasons why certain services provoke high emotions. They also provide guidelines for ways organizations can design these services to better anticipate and respond to customers’ emotional needs.

The article is available online at https://hbr.org/2015/10/when-the-customer-is-stressed? and in the October 2015 print issue of the Harvard Business Review.

Berry conducted the research for the article with Scott W. Davis, a postdoctoral fellow at the Jones

Graduate School of Business at Rice University who studied at Mays; and Jody Wilmet, the vice president for oncology, diagnostics and hospital physicians at Bellin Health Systems in Green Bay, Wisc.

The team chose to focus on cancer care in part because Berry is conducting an ongoing study of how to improve the service journey that adult cancer patients and their families take from diagnosis through treatment, recovery and in some cases end-of-life care. So far, the research has involved interviews with more than 350 cancer patients, family members, oncologists, surgeons, oncology nurses, nonclinical staffers, and leaders of health care organizations, primarily at 10 highly reputed cancer centers in nine U.S. states.

Berry is a Senior Fellow with the Institute of Healthcare Improvement in Cambridge, Mass. He is Distinguished Professor of Marketing and holds the M.B. Zale Chair in Retailing and Marketing Leadership in the Mays Business School at Texas A&M University. He is the founder of Texas A&M’s Center for Retailing Studies and served as its director from 1982 through June 2000. He is a former national president of the American Marketing Association. He has written the books Management Lessons from Mayo Clinic, Discovering the Soul of Service, On Great Service, Marketing Services: Competing Through Quality and Delivering Quality Service.

Berry

Berry

Categories: Faculty, Mays Business, News, Research Notes, Texas A&M, Uncategorized

Wesley Rondinelli, MBA Class of 2017, (second from left) and his team received the second-place prize in the inaugural PepsiCo MBA Invitational Case Competition, held at TCU on Sept. 20. His teammates, randomly assigned, hailed from Duke, TCU and UT-Dallas.

Participating MBA programs were Wharton, Duke, Maryland, Washington University, Vanderbilt, Iowa, Rice, UT, UT-Dallas, TCU, University of Houston and SMU. It was only open to first-year full-time MBA students.

Also representing Mays were Alex Bardeguez and Rongchao Lu.

2nd Place Team

Categories: Mays Business, News, Programs, Students, Texas A&M, Uncategorized

Faculty members who are helping develop leaders of tomorrow with new skills in entrepreneurial thinking and creativity were recognized at the Sept. 19 Aggie football game. Mays Business School Dean Eli Jones and special guest David Cordani, president and CEO of Cigna (right) were joined by professors Carol Lafayette and Charles Samuelson.Jones and Cordani on Kyle Field

Categories: Faculty, Mays Business, News, Texas A&M, Uncategorized

Henry and Judith order rings_alt1Henry Musoma often quotes one of his favorite sayings: “Your network is your net worth.” Recent events indicate the Mays Business School lecturer is a very rich man.

On Nov. 20, a group from Musoma’s network will give him an Aggie Ring, a coveted symbol of the Aggie Network that dates back more than 100 years. Students must earn 90 hours and a 2.0 GPA to be eligible to order a ring. Aggie Ring Day is one of the most anticipated milestones in an Aggie student’s career – and as Musoma will attest, in a former student’s career, too.

Musoma lost his ring several years ago and hasn’t replaced it. But anyone who knows him knows he is an Aggie through and through, personifying the core values of the institution: Excellence, integrity, leadership, loyalty, respect and selfless service.

Musoma spoke in mid-August to Grad Camp, an orientation for graduate and professional students, about one of his favorite topics: networking. Last week, event director and AgriLife Extension Program Specialist Kevin Andrews said Musoma made such an impact on him and on those present, he felt compelled to rally the students in his agriculture class, ALED 441, to raise funds to buy Musoma a replacement ring.

“He is well-liked and respected across campus, and I knew a lot of people would come together with small gifts to make a big difference,” Andrews said. Besides, the project was a lesson for his students to learn “you don’t need one person doing all the work, but rather a lot of people each doing their small part,” he said.

The ring is a small token of appreciation for all Musoma  has done since he arrived on campus from Africa years ago, Andrews said. “If you were to take all of the hours Dr. Musoma has spent on evenings and weekends speaking to student groups, inviting students into his home or mentoring young Aggies, and multiplied that by even minimum wages, he has invested enough into Texas A&M to have paid for a replacement Aggie Ring,” Andrews explained. “Even though he could afford his own replacement ring, Aggies take care of Aggies. He has given all of us something far more valuable than money – he has given us his time.”

The day Andrews came to Musoma’s office to tell him about the ring, Musoma was hosting a team from Phillips 66 who were visiting Mays. They were filming a video about a trip Musoma and Mays recruiter Corey Stone took with 14 students to Africa last summer. This was the second year that Phillips 66 sponsored the trip, and a team from Africa visited Mays last summer in return.

Judith Vincent, general auditor of Phillips 66, was nearby when Andrews delivered the news to Musoma. “The look on Dr. Musoma’s face – the sheer shock and pride and appreciation – just really touched me. It was very special, and it made me want to go get my ring.” Vincent graduated 30 years ago and never ordered her ring.

The pair immediately drove to the Association of Former Students to order her ring on the final day for a Nov. 20 delivery. Vincent said, “Every time I look at my ring, I will have so much pride because it will remind me of Dr. Musoma and the impact he has had.”  Nov. 20 will be a big day for Musoma and Vincent. That’s when they plan to pick up their rings, then go dunk them – an Aggie tradition. Most people drop their ring into a full pitcher of beer, then drink it to retrieve the ring. Musoma and Vincent are still working on details of their big day.

“I am taking a vacation day and coming to College Station,” Vincent said. “I wouldn’t miss it, and I wouldn’t miss being there when Dr. Musoma gets his ring. It’s going to be a very special day.”

Andrews said he is hopeful the group’s project reaches beyond Musoma. “Already, we have the funds to purchase an additional female Aggie Ring in his name, and we will continue to give as many scholarships in his name as possible,” he said. “I see no more fitting tribute for such a selfless servant than to keep this gift going for those who deserve it.”

ABOUT MAYS BUSINESS SCHOOL

Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 6,000 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in accounting, business, 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.

Categories: Alumni, Donors Corner, Faculty, Mays Business, News, Staff, Texas A&M