Tom Sumner, a leading Houston business executive who serves on the Board of Trustees for Texas Christian University, and his wife Marilyn, have made a $5.5 million leadership gift to support the planned expansion of the TCU Neeley School of Business. Both are TCU alumni.
Tom Sumner has founded six successful companies since 1979. He is currently CEO and chairman of Allpoints Service Corp., which provides land surveying services to home builders. He earned his BBA from TCU in 1967 and MBA in 1968. Marilyn Sumner was a career education administrator before co-founding a consulting company to advise school districts in the Houston area. She currently serves on several nonprofit boards. She earned her education degree from TCU in 1968.
“We are appreciative of Tom and Marilyn for their important support of TCU and the Neeley School of Business,” Chancellor Victor J. Boschini Jr said. “Their gift moves us closer to completing the necessary financial commitments for the Neeley School building expansion project.”
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.
Sumner credits his entrepreneurial success to the skills he learned at TCU, Arthur Anderson and at a mortgage company.
As a TCU MBA student, he learned he could compete with classmates who were older and had more work experience. “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,” he said. “An entrepreneur has to have confidence.”
After graduation he worked for accounting firm Arthur Anderson, where he learned to identify and solve problems, and then he worked for a mortgage company/REIT and learned skills in lending, mortgage, borrowing, finance, real estate and how a deal is structured.
But it all began with his TCU Neeley education and experience.
“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.
“Tom Sumner knows that building a successful business begins with a first-rate business education in a thriving environment,” said O. Homer Erekson, the John V. Roach Dean of the Neeley School. “This significant gift will further enhance TCU Neeley’s growing reputation as a world-class, values-centered school of business that produces students who make a meaningful impact on their community and the world.”
The expansion and renovation of the TCU Neeley School of Business is planned to begin in 2017. When completed, the combined new facilities will be called the Spencer and Marlene Hays Business Commons, in recognition of a $30 million foundational gift from the Hays.