SAN MARCOS, TEXAS — Prominent South Texas businessman Sam Barshop has accepted the Roy F. and Joann Cole Mitte Chair in Entrepreneurship Studies in the Southwest Texas State University School of Business.
Barshop is founder and retired chairman of the board, president and CEO of La Quinta Inns. In September 1995, Barshop Enterprises of San Antonio joined forces with the C.P. Oles Co. of Austin to form a new company, merging their real estate interests. Barshop is chairman of the board of the San Antonio-Austin based firm Barshop and Oles.
Barshop serves on the board of Southwest Airlines, is the former chairman of the Austin-San Antonio Corridor Council and the San Antonio Free Trade Alliance.
He will officially join the SWT faculty at the beginning of the 1999 fall semester.
Barshop will teach a business course which introduces students and faculty to the challenge, excitement, energy and sense of achievement that life in business provides. Distinguished business leaders from Texas and the nation will be featured as guest speakers each week.
SWT President Jerome Supple said Barshop was an ideal candidate for the endowed chair.
“Not only is Mr. Barshop a tremendously successful entrepreneur, he‘s also a person who has not forgotten the importance of community. He‘s an extraordinary businessman with a record of outstanding service to the community, the state of Texas and the nation,” said Supple.
A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, Barshop is a former member of the Board of Regents of the University of Texas System, and currently serves on numerous UT boards and committees. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees of the University of the Incarnate Word in San Antonio.
A $5 million gift to SWT from the Roy F. and Joann Cole Mitte Foundation, announced in August 1997, was used to create five endowed chairs that were awarded to departments on a competitive basis campuswide.
In addition to the chair in entreneurship studies, other chairs were awarded in managed health care systems, quality and ethics in the School of Health Professions; creative writing in the English Department; cancer research in the departments of Biology and Chemistry; and semiconductor research and education as a joint proposal of the departments of Technology and Physics.
Roy F. and Joann Cole Mitte of Austin are SWT‘s most generous benefactors. In addition to their $5 million gift to endow distinguished faculty chairs, they contributed $12.5 million to the university in March 1997 to fund scholarships for SWT students.Both Mittes are graduates of SWT. Roy Mitte, chairman of the board, president and CEO, owns a controlling interest in Financial Industries Corp., an insurance and financial holding company.