Bauer Convocation Slated For December 15

Published on December 7, 2016

Mattress Firm Executive Chairman Provides Keynote Address to nearly 1,000 Graduates

On Dec. 15, the C. T. Bauer College of Business will celebrate more than 800 graduates during a convocation ceremony at 6 p.m. in Hofheinz Pavilion.

On Dec. 15, the C. T. Bauer College of Business celebrated more than 800 graduates during a convocation ceremony at 6 p.m. in Hofheinz Pavilion.

Bauer College recognized more than 800 graduating students at its Fall 2016 Convocation on Dec. 15, featuring a keynote address from Mattress Firm Executive Chairman Steve Stagner.

The Fall 2016 graduating class included candidates for bachelor of business administration degrees, as well as those completing graduate (MBA, Executive MBA and master of science) and doctoral business programs.

In addition, Bauer College Dean Latha Ramchand gave special acknowledgement of seven undergraduate students who have achieved a perfect 4.0 grade point average during their studies, as well as three graduate students who have been named Outstanding Student in their respective programs.

During the ceremony, Stagner was inducted as an honorary member of Beta Gamma Sigma, the highest recognition that a business student anywhere in the world can received in a business program accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB).

Stagner, who recently made a gift to support and name the college’s Sales Excellence Institute, is the newest member of the Bauer College Board, a group of more than 40 members representing executives and entrepreneurs who have led companies across sectors, with representation from energy, health care, banking, accounting, retail and more. The board works with Ramchand to connect the college to the business community, providing input on a number of critical issues, including strategy, thought leadership, student engagement and curricular relevance.


Steve Stagner
Executive Chairman
Mattress Firm

ssSteve Stagner is the Executive Chairman of Mattress Firm operating over 3,600 company and franchised stores across the United States. With combined annual sales of over $3.5 billion nationally, Mattress Firm is among the largest bedding retailers in the U.S.  In conjunction with the recent $3.8 billion merger with Steinhoff International Holdings, Mattress Firm is now positioned on a global market.

Stagner opened his first franchise location in Atlanta, Georgia in 1996 with $1,300 in the bank. After eight years, he and his business partner had built their independent franchise to greater than 50 stores and $62 million in annual sales. In January 2005, he merged his franchise organization into the Mattress Firm corporate entity and accepted the role of Chief Operating Officer.  He became the president and chief executive officer in 2010, and is now Mattress Firm’s executive chairman.

Prior to starting his franchise, Stagner worked in sales for Sealy and Simmons, representing the two of the nation’s largest manufacturers of bedding products. He also served as a sales trainer for Brian Tracy after graduating from college, where he conducted sales training for over 1,000 companies and totaling over 10,000 sales professionals from East to West coast.

Growing up in Texas, Stagner graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University in 1991 with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Marketing.  Steve’s pride and joy are his two children Austin and Isabella.

By Amanda Sebesta

By the Numbers

879 graduates total

676 undergraduate students

Accountancy & Taxation: 137
Decision & Information Sciences (includes management information systems and supply chain): 203
Finance: 108
Management: 36
Marketing & Entrepreneurship: 77
Bauer Honors: 37
Program for Excellence in Selling: 55

122 graduate students

Full Time MBA: 2
Professional MBA: 50
Executive MBA: 1
MS Accountancy: 67
MS Finance: 2
MS Marketing: 1


Doctoral graduates: 1

*Summer & Fall 2016 graduates