McMurry Announces Successful Completion of $10 Million Campaign to Endow School of Business

  Gary Ellison
  Thursday, June 29, 2017 2:30 PM
  Archives 2016 - 2017

Abilene, TX

Johnson School of Business Press Conference

Pictured (from left) are Sara Graham, Ken Murphy (First Financial), Gloria McDaniel, Elizabeth Farr (Johnsons’ granddaughter), and Bynum and Barbara Miers.

McMurry University announced today it has exceeded the $10,000,000 goal to endow its school of business and officially named the school in honor of Abilenians Walter F. and Virginia Johnson.

“It is fitting that the school is named after Walter and Virginia Johnson. They were exemplars of servant leadership and were known for their selfless contributions to the Abilene community,” said McMurry University President Dr. Sandra Harper.

Walter Johnson, who served on the McMurry University Board of Trustees for 16 years and founded First Financial Bankshares in Abilene, is recognized for his vision to transform a local bank into one that now spans the state of Texas. 

The $10 million endowment will fund student scholarships, faculty positions and programs to enhance student professional success. A significant portion of the endowment will be used for faculty support to provide McMurry the opportunity to recruit and retain student-centered faculty who are outstanding scholars and experienced practitioners who embrace rigor and relevance in their teaching. Gifts to support students will provide scholarships to attract stellar students to the business program who will heighten the academic visibility and competitive student environment while enhancing academic programing and initiatives to be prepared to compete in a complex global environment.   Programmatic support will provide ongoing professional development to business faculty members and supply students with internships, externships and other efforts designed to create experiential learning opportunities and enhance the collaboration between the University, business and major industries.

“I want to extend my sincere thanks to all the donors who have made this possible and especially recognize the lead donors -  The Dian Graves Owen Foundation, the Dodge Jones Foundation and longtime friends of the Johnsons, Sara and Paul Graham. In addition, I want to publicly thank the university Board of Trustees for their 100% participation in financially supporting this campaign,” said Dr. Harper.

Press Contact

Gary Ellison