Two Sam Houston State University business alumni have announced their plans to establish a $1 million endowment at the university, which will provide funding for the enhancement of programs within the College of Business Administration.
Charles Amato and Gary Dudley, both of San Antonio, have established the Amato-Dudley College of Business Administration Dean’s Chair Endowment, to help attract and retain eminent scholars, as well as meet emerging student needs.
The dean of the College of Business Administration, who will also serve officially as the Amato-Dudley Endowed Chair for the College of Business Administration, will administer the endowment. The dean’s suite offices will be named in honor of the donors.
These funds will provide a “maximum amount of flexibility,” allowing the dean discretionary use of the endowment’s earnings in what he views as the college’s areas of greatest need, from faculty and student professional travel, development, and scholarly research, to other priorities and opportunities that benefit the college, according to Dean
“In a time of diminishing state funds, contributions from alumni and the private sector allow the college to maintain its pursuit of excellence,” Muehsam said. “We are extraordinarily appreciative of the generosity
demonstrated by Mr. Amato and Mr. Dudley.
“Their confidence will motivate us to provide even greater services to our students,” he said.
Dudley and Amato are co-owners of the San Antonio-based Southwest Business Corporation (SWBC), a diversified financial services company providing a wide range of insurance, mortgage, and investment services to financial institutions, businesses and individuals.
They are also part owners of the San Antonio Spurs, and Amato currently serves as the chair of the Texas State University System Board of Regents.
The SHSU alumni met in middle school while growing up in La Porte.
They lost touch during their teen years but met again in the mid-60s when they pledged the same fraternity, Sigma Phi Epsilon, at SHSU. They each received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from SHSU before setting out to make their marks on their communities.
After graduating in 1969, Dudley began coaching in the Houston school district and served six months of active duty in the Marine Corps before taking a job selling insurance products to banks and credit unions in the Houston area.
After earning his degree in 1970, Amato began a banking career with Bay City Bank and Trust. In 1974, the two met again at a party in Houston, where Dudley recruited his fraternity brother to work with him and sell insurance to financial institutions in San Antonio.
Two years later, the entrepreneurs decided to venture out and co-founded their own company, SWBC, with the purpose of providing insurance to financial institutions, while at the same time providing high levels of customer service.
Today, the San Antonio-based SWBC is a multi-faceted company with offices across the country and more than 1,400 employees.
Dudley and Amato have remained active with their alma mater and have received multiple recognitions from the university.
They are recipients of the SHSU Distinguished Alumni Award and have been inducted into the College of Business Administration’s Hall of Honor. Amato and Dudley are members of the President’s Circle, and are Life Members of the SHSU Alumni Association. Dudley also serves on the College of Business Administration Advisory Board.
Both also have been inducted into the San Antonio Business Hall of Fame and, in 2009, both were awarded the Beta Gamma Sigma Medallion for Entrepreneurship.
Dudley and Amato credit SHSU for giving them a well-rounded education and teaching them the value of hard work, adding that they are proud they can help SHSU continue that success with future students. It is for this reason, both said, that they decided to create the Amato-Dudley College of Business Administration Dean’s Chair Endowment.
“Both professionally and personally we understand the importance of giving back, and we appreciate all that Dean Mitchell Muehsam and President Dana Gibson have done to contribute to the success of our youth,” Dudley said. “We have hired many SHSU graduates who become leaders not only at SWBC but in the community.
“Getting a solid foundation is important, and that is just one of the many things SHSU offers,” he said.