St. Mary’s University has received a $1 million gift from alumnus and philanthropist Bill Greehey (B.B.A. ’60) for the Greehey Scholars Program, a unique undergraduate scholarship program that focuses on servant leadership.
“I am pleased with the progress of the Greehey Scholars Program and the extraordinary, service-oriented learning experiences it offers students,” said Greehey, the Chairman of NuStar Energy. “Dean Tanuja Singh has taken this program and the Business School to new heights. I expect to continue to see it produce future business and community leaders.”
This is yet another major gift from Greehey to St. Mary’s. In 2005, his $25 million gift to the university’s school of business funded innovative academic and scholarship programs to attract world-class faculty and students, and it was renamed the Greehey School of Business. He also gave $1 million to help revamp the MBA program in 2012.
The most recent gift will allow the Greehey School of Business to expand the program and increase the number of scholars.
“We are thankful to Mr. Greehey for his continued support of St. Mary’s University,” said President Thomas Mengler, J.D. “This gift reinforces that under Dean Singh’s strong leadership, faculty and staff are succeeding in passing the Marianist tradition to students. Greehey Scholars are among the finest products of this University, and they reflect our mission in all they do.”
The Greehey Scholars Program blends traditional learning methods with hands-on leadership training. The scholars are involved in all aspects of the St. Mary’s community, and they learn to be ethical leaders through business interaction experiences as well as community service with organizations such as Each One Teach One, San Antonio Youth Literacy, St. Vincent de Paul’s, Habitat for Humanity and the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) Program. Scholars also participate in fundraisers, retreats, internship opportunities, professional development events and service-immersion trips.
Since the program began in 2006, the director and scholars have molded the program to improve the experience for students and to increasingly echo the Marianist traditions of faith formation, integral quality education, family spirit, working for service, justice and peace, and adaption and change.
More about Bill Greehey
Greehey previously served as Chairman and CEO of Valero Energy from the company’s inception in 1980 until he retired as CEO in 2005 and as Chairman in 2006, when NuStar spun off from Valero. In addition to the gifts mentioned above, he and Valero employees also established the $1.5 million Greehey Endowed Chair of Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility at St. Mary’s. The Greehey School of Business has been consistently ranked among the Best Business Schools in the Nation by the Princeton Review.
Greehey also gives much of his time and service to St. Mary’s, having served on its Board of Trustees and led fundraising initiatives to help transform the University. These efforts included a capital campaign to build the Alumni Athletics & Convocation Center in 2000, which included a $1 million personal gift from Greehey. He also led a campaign to raise $4 million to beautify and restore the historic campus.
In 2008, he led the effort to secure $6 million in funding through the Bexar County venue tax vote to help build The Park at St. Mary’s outdoor sports complex. Based on his decades-long support of the University and his professional and civic achievements over the years, Greehey has received the University’s Distinguished Alumnus Award and an honorary doctorate (the Doctor of Laws Honoris Causa).
Growing up in Fort Dodge, Iowa, Greehey dreamed of a college education, but he was raised in a poor, working-class family that could not afford to send him to college. In fact, no one from his family or neighborhood had ever gone to college. So after he graduated from high school, he joined the Air Force so that he could go to college on the GI Bill. After four years of military service, he put himself through St. Mary’s University and achieved numerous academic honors while working nights and weekends parking cars at the Nix Hospital to support his young family.
After college, he went on to a renowned business career in which he directed Valero’s growth from a small, regional natural gas company into the largest refining company in North America, which was ranked No. 15 on the Fortune 500 when he retired as CEO at the close of 2005. In 2012, The Harvard Business Review named Mr. Greehey one of the best performing CEOs in the world based on his tenure as CEO of Valero. As Chairman of NuStar Energy, Greehey led its separation from Valero, and under his leadership, NuStar has also achieved dramatic growth and success.