Texas Christian University’s Neeley School of Business announced Wednesday a $5.5 million gift from a leading Houston business executive to support its $100 million expansion plans.
Tom Sumner, CEO and chairman of Allpoints Service Corp., which provides land-surveying services to home builders, made the gift along with his wife, Marilyn. He serves on TCU’s board of trustees.
Chancellor Victor J. Boschini Jr. praised the Sumners for supporting TCU and Neeley. About one-third of the undergraduate and graduate students at TCU go through the business school.
“Their gift moves us closer to completing the necessary financial commitments for the Neeley School building expansion project,” Boschini said in a prepared statement.
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The school kicked off its campaign to expand the business school in 2015. It will be done in two phases: $75 million for new construction and $25 million for renovation of existing buildings. So far, TCU has raised $53 million toward the new-construction phase, said Neeley School Dean O. Homer Erekson. Construction is set to begin this year.
“Tom Sumner knows that building a successful business begins with a first-rate business education in a thriving environment,” Erekson said.
Sumner, who earned undergraduate and graduate degrees at TCU, credits his business success to what he learned at the university, the Arthur Anderson Andersen accounting firm and a mortgage company. He said as an MBA student he learned he could compete with classmates who were older and more experienced.
“I could go head to head with them in the arena of ideas, case competitions and debates, and that gave me a boost of confidence,” Sumner said in a statement. “An entrepreneur has to have confidence.”
“Now Marilyn and I want to see the Neeley School build on its reputation and give more students the opportunity to create jobs and build companies from the things they learn at TCU,” he said.
Marilyn Sumner, who runs a consulting firm in Houston that advises school districts, earned an education degree at TCU.
The new and expanded facilities will include new south and east wings, innovative classrooms and learning spaces, a large auditorium, and the latest technological advances in higher education. A U-shaped design includes an outdoor plaza and indoor rotunda as gathering places.
The fundraising campaign received a big boost when it received a $30 million foundational gift from Spencer and Marlene Hays. As a result, the project will be named in their honor as the Spencer and Marlene Hays Business Commons. The complex will be built near the existing business school buildings.