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Sunday, January 24, 2021

TCU’s Neeley School receives $30M donation as part of planned expansion

Rendering of planned $100 million expansion of the Neeley School of Business

Courtesy: TCU

A $30 million foundation gift to Texas Christian University will help guide a $100 million facility expansion for the Neeley School of Business. The donation from Spencer Hays, an emeritus TCU trustee and 1959 graduate, and his wife Marlene, of Nashville, Tenn., is the most significant gift to date for the Neeley school. The couple previously made the naming gift for TCU’s Marlene and Spencer Hays Theatre.

The new expanded facilities, which will be called the Marlene and Spencer Hays Business Commons, will include new east and south wings, a central atrium, an office complex, an auditorium and innovative classroom design. All new buildings will be integrated with existing Neeley facilities, which will be fully renovated, and will be set off by a landscaped business quad. The Neeley facilities will anchor the Intellectual Commons now under construction. Dr. O. Homer Erekson, the John V. Roach Dean of the Neeley School of Business at TCU, said the gift “will help us build and renovate facilities and enable us to recruit top performers – world-class faculty, staff and students who can further strengthen Neeley’s profile among peer institutions. We are thankful for Spencer and Marlene’s generosity and for the spark it will provide to elevate our programs and facilities, thereby continuing to position Neeley as a top business school.”

Recently, The Economist ranked Neeley’s MBA faculty first in the world and the Executive MBA 21st worldwide. The undergraduate program also has garnered numerous distinctions, including a 27th national ranking in Bloomberg Businessweek. “Recognitions like these are elevating the university’s overall academic profile and reputation,” said Chancellor Victor J. Boschini Jr. Hays is involved in businesses in several fields, including publishing, clothing, insurance, financial planning, school fundraising and real estate. They include the Tom James Co., the world’s largest manufacturer and direct seller of custom clothing. He is executive chairman of the Southwestern Co., where he began a lifetime profession of direct selling as a TCU student selling books door to door for the company. Hays attributes his success to the lessons learned during the four summers he sold books while he was a TCU student. “Marlene and I are very excited that we can help build the future at TCU. We are investing in a space where business, innovation and the principles that drive all our businesses will come together to inspire future generations of students,” he said.

-Betty Dillard bdillard@bizpress.net  

Robert Francis
Robert is a Fort Worth native and longtime editor of the Fort Worth Business Press. He is a former president of the local Society of Professional Journalists and was a freelancer for a variety of newspapers, weeklies and magazines, including American Way, BrandWeek and InformatonWeek. A graduate of TCU, Robert has held a variety of writing and editing positions at publications such as the Grand Prairie Daily News and InfoWorld. He is also a musician and playwright.

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