“They’re reaching out, so people are reaching in.”
This simple statement sums up support for University of Houston and C.T. Bauer College of Business, especially that which comes from non-alumni who have nonetheless adopted the school as their own.
Dan Prosser made the observation recently as he discussed Bauer’s alumni & student programs and people with Terri Ammerman, neither of whom attended UH but have come to appreciate the school’s integral role in the city of Houston’s business community.
Prosser is founder and CEO of TheBESTPlacestoWork.com, a company that works only with businesses that have been honored with a “best places to work” label. Prosser and others within the company bring innovative thinking and practices to employees and executives. Ammerman, president and CEO of The Ammerman Experience, leads a company founded by her father, a longtime Houston television anchorman, that trains business leaders how to best communicate their ideas – both to internal and external audiences.
In an informal conversation at Bauer, Prosser and Ammerman found they had much in common – both as Houston business leaders who work with others on communications-related skills, and as Bauer College boosters. Prosser’s involvement with the school stems from a connection made years ago with Conrad N. Hilton College, where now he serves on the Board of Directors. Prosser, who funded an endowment at Hilton College, was made an honorary alum in 2000.
“I’m just so proud of it,” says Prosser, a native of Minnesota who has run several successful technology related businesses. “I believe in education, and by creating the endowment it helps further education, especially in that industry.”
Ammerman’s company will begin providing a communication component to Bauer’s Executive MBA program in January.
Whether communicating with the press, or interacting with peers, executives often need help with public speaking skills, their ability to make technical subjects understandable to lay people, or their interactions with employees, Ammerman says.
“It will make a difference in their careers, in the way they get things done,” Ammerman says. Both Ammerman and Prosser say the welcoming atmosphere at UH has made their involvement almost inevitable. “They (students, faculty and staff) are building something,” Prosser says. “They’re wanting growth.”
Faculty like Latha Ramchand, Associate Dean of Graduate and Professional Programs at Bauer, are cognizant of the current and ever-changing needs of businesses, Ammerman says. Like other faculty, she has reached out to the community in order to provide those assets to students.
“People here (at Bauer) are watching the trends; what do businesses need? And we’re one component,” Ammerman says. “We can teach people to be better communicators, make them a better presented, more marketable person.”
UH grads who are among Houston’s leading communicators are also stepping up to make significant contributions to their alma mater. Dominque Sachse (’90), a television anchor at Channel 2, donated her time and expertise in taking part in a Bauer video shot in 2002. The video, again featuring Sachse, was recently updated and is scheduled to be released in early 2008. She has repeatedly been named Houston’s favorite TV anchor by readers of the Houston Chronicle.
Origin, consistently ranked as one of Houston’s Top 10 design firms, is another expert communications group populated by numerous UH grads. The firm designed and donated services for Bauer’s 2006 Annual Report.
By Julie Bonnin
About the University of Houston
The University of Houston, Texas’ premier metropolitan research and teaching institution, is home to more than 40 research centers and institutes and sponsors more than 300 partnerships with corporate, civic and governmental entities. UH, the most diverse research university in the country, stands at the forefront of education, research and service with more than 35,000 students.
About the Bauer College of Business
The C.T. Bauer College of Business has been in operation for more than 60 years at the University of Houston main campus. Through its five academic departments, the college offers a full-range of undergraduate, masters and doctoral degrees in business. The Bauer College is fully accredited by the AACSB International – the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business. In August 2000, Houston business leader and philanthropist Charles T. (Ted) Bauer endowed the College of Business with a $40 million gift. In recognition of his generosity, the college was renamed the C.T. Bauer College of Business.