Sam Thomas BBA '72; Southwest Graduate School of Banking '81
Sam Thomas is grateful for his SMU experience. As a student who benefited from scholarship support at SMU, he wants to help the next generation of SMU students to have the same opportunity for success.
Sam’s ties to SMU initially began because of his grandmother’s long tenure as a nurse at Dallas’ Methodist Hospital. A “Navy brat” who lived throughout the United States as a youth, Sam returned to his Texas roots for college, attending SMU on an SMU Dad’s Club baseball scholarship. Sam lived in McElvaney Hall, worked at a sporting goods store, played baseball and belonged to the Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
The network of his contacts and the wide range of his interests have been greatly enhanced by his decision to return to Dallas to attend SMU. For example, the history courses he took led to his interest in collecting antiques. One of Sam’s favorite business professors, Dr. Frank Millar, was even the best man at his wedding!
After graduation, Sam spent 18 years as a banker and then established his own oil and gas operations company. When he sustained a serious injury at work, Sam reviewed his priorities and asked the question, “What entity or person has done more for me in my past than any other?” The answer to the question was SMU.
Sam’s bequest will provide scholarships for future students. Sam says, “When I look back at my life and at what has influenced me, SMU is right up there at the top. The only way I know how to return that favor is to give back.”
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