Bauer Alumni Revel in Year of Success
Nearly 400 alumni and supporters of the University of Houston C. T. Bauer College of Business filled Stubblefield Auditorium on Aug. 16 for the signature event of the Bauer College Alumni Association, an annual meeting to celebrate the accomplishments and successes of the year.
The turnout was the largest ever for the annual event, which also included a reception in nearby Melcher Hall. The theme of the meeting, “Success: Past, Present and Future,” was a nod to the incredible achievements of both Bauer students and alumni in recent years and how to leverage the strong momentum.
“It’s important that we have constituents that are as active as Bauer College,” said Mike Pede (HRM ’89), president and CEO of the Houston Alumni Association. “We’re surfers in the Alumni Association. We ride the wave created by UH President and Chancellor Renu Khator, and we ride the wave created by (Bauer Dean) Latha Ramchand and the students in the business college.”
The Bauer College Alumni Association echoes that feeling of pride, said James Hong (BBA ‘05), the group’s president who will return for a second term in 2012-2013.
“Being part of the Bauer College Alumni Association is a great way to stay involved and give back to the community,” Hong added. “We have an impressive group of alums that are business leaders and have so much pride for UH and Bauer College, and it is our responsibility to spread our message and continue to impact Houston in a great way.”
The college’s alumni organization has grown significantly in the last year, both in terms of membership and event attendance. In the past year, Hong told the crowd, membership grew to over 750 new members, an all-time high for BCAA, and over 350 members dedicated their time to more than half a dozen volunteer events.
“The Bauer College Alumni Association has committed over $75,000 in scholarship dollars and endowments during the 2011-2012 year,” Hong said. “It is because of the hard work by our board, our alumni and great supporters like you that make this possible.”
BCAA plans to continue the upward trend with a full slate of activities in the coming year, including its installment of monthly networking breakfasts (kicking off this fall on Sept. 20, with featured speaker Marcie Zlotnik, co-founder of StarTex Power) and the 2013 Ted Bauer Golf Classic, which raises funds for scholarships for current Bauer students.
During the meeting, BCAA announced four alumni who will be recognized during the upcoming Ted Bauer Golf Classic as an “honorary foursome” — Pam Lockard (BS ’75), who is founder, president and CEO of DMN3; J. Downey Bridgwater (BBA ’84), the Houston market president of Comerica Bank; C. Gregory Harper (MBA ’97), CenterPoint Energy Pipelines senior vice president and group president; and Pamela O’Rourke (BBA ’95), the president and CEO of ICON Information Consultants.
In addition to celebrating alumni achievements, the meeting served as a venue to share some of the success stories in the last year from Bauer students, including the Wolff Center for Entrepreneurship UNlimiters team and the Bauer MBA students who won the ELC Business Case Competition and the 2012 Rice MBA Marketing Case Competition.
“Our students and alums come from very diverse backgrounds,” said Teri Elkins Longacre, the college’s associate dean of academic affairs. “They are dedicated, driven and courageous leaders, but the most important aspect is that they all have great pride in what they do and pride for a job well done, and here at Bauer, we take pride in our students and their achievements.”
Associate Dean for External Relations Bob Casey agreed with Longacre, noting how important alumni involvement and support will be for the college’s initiatives in the coming year, including a recruiting scholarship effort, The Bauer Excellence Initiative.
“This scholarship fund will take this school to new heights,” Casey said. “It’s going to make us able to reach out and get the best and brightest and bring them to your university.”
The meeting was sponsored in part by Willis Group, with the company’s chairman, Michael T. Willis, in attendance alongside several Bauer students who have benefited from scholarships funded by the organization.
A catered reception in Melcher Hall followed the meeting, giving alumni the opportunity to network and reconnect.