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Press release from Business Wire

Bill Greehey To Be Honored With Prestigious Lamar Medal for Extraordinary Service to Education in Texas

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Bill Greehey To Be Honored With Prestigious Lamar Medal for Extraordinary Service to Education in Texas09:37 EST Wednesday, January 26, 2011 AUSTIN, Texas (Business Wire) -- San Antonio business leader and philanthropist Bill Greehey will today be awarded the 2011 Mirabeau B. Lamar Medal for extraordinary support of higher education in Texas. For over 30 years, the prestigious Lamar Medal has been presented each year by the Council of Public University Presidents and Chancellors, the Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas, and the Texas Association of Community Colleges. Presidents and chancellors from all three sectors of higher education and other state education leaders will be on hand at a luncheon ceremony in Austin to honor Greehey's long-time support of higher education. Texas House Speaker Joe Straus is also expected to attend the function. The Lamar Medal is named for President Mirabeau B. Lamar, the second president of the Republic of Texas who is called the Father of Texas Education. Under his administration, land was set aside in each county for the creation of public schools and additional land was set aside for the creation of two public universities. Established in 1977, the Lamar Medal has been presented to individuals, foundations or other organizations that have made extraordinary contributions to higher education in Texas. Past recipients include Lieutenant Governors William P. Hobby and Bob Bullock, Professor Barbara Jordan, State Senators Judith Zaffirini and John Montford, Red and Charline McCombs, and the Houston Endowment. In recent years, Greehey's most notable contributions have included a $25 million grant to St. Mary's University in San Antonio to fund the university's business school, and $25 million to The University of Texas Health Science Center (UTHSC) at San Antonio to fund cancer research initiatives. Significant Contributions to Higher Education Greehey currently serves as Chairman of NuStar Energy and served as the founding CEO of Valero Energy Corp. for 32 years, prior to the spinoff of NuStar in 2006. He is a 1960 graduate of St. Mary's University and his major gift to the business school was used to fund innovative academic and scholarship programs to attract world-class faculty and students. He and Valero's employees also helped establish the $1.5 million Greehey Endowed Chair of Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility within the business school. And, in the five years since the Bill Greehey School of Business was established, it 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 the university, having served on the university's Board of Trustees, and leading many fundraising initiatives to help transform the university. These efforts included a capital campaign to build a new convocation and athletics center on the campus 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 nearly 160-year-old campus. And in 2008, he led the effort to secure $6 million in funding to renovate the university's baseball and softball complex through the Bexar County venue tax vote. 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 as well as an honorary doctorate (the Doctor of Laws Honoris Causa). “Bill Greehey's generosity and support for higher education has provided many students with transformative educational opportunities that not only teach them how to be professionals, but also how to be community-minded citizens who work for the common good,” said St. Mary's University President Charles Cotrell, Ph.D., who nominated Greehey for the award. “Through his efforts to advance higher education and the myriad other social causes he supports, Bill is a model of how professional success and community engagement can work together to improve the lives of others.” Greehey's major gift to the UTHSC in 2007 was the single largest private gift ever received by the institution at the time and one of the single largest cash contributions in The University of Texas System's history. To recognize the importance of the gift, UTHSC officials renamed their North Campus the Greehey Academic and Research Campus, and the campus Children's Cancer Research Institute became the Greehey Children's Cancer Research Institute. “Bill Greehey's commitment to children who have cancer or other chronic illness, and their families, and especially to children who are in need, inspired a gift to the UT Health Science Center San Antonio that was transformative in every way,” said Dr. Bill Henrich, president of The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. “He believed in our community and in our University and set the course for a trajectory of success that was unprecedented. Every gift makes a difference, but Bill Greehey changed the future of health for children in San Antonio when he created the Greehey Children's Cancer Research Institute. Our gratitude to him and the Greehey Family Foundation stands as one of the most historic moments in the history of our University.” In addition to the gifts to St. Mary's University and the UTHSC, Greehey most recently gave $2 million to Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, and he has given $1 million to the University of Texas at San Antonio and $3 million to build a new Lutheran High School campus in San Antonio. He has also given many other gifts to support universities outside the San Antonio area, including Texas Lutheran University. Greehey has also made higher education possible for thousands of his employees and their children through tuition reimbursement programs and scholarship awards at Valero and NuStar. Since 1980, more than 300 students have received well over $2 million in scholarships. In addition to the company programs that he started, Greehey also personally sponsors 20 scholarships each year for the children of NuStar employees through his foundation. Education Was Always a Priority for Greehey 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 in San Antonio and achieved numerous academic honors while working nights and weekends parking cars at the Nix Hospital in San Antonio 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. As Chairman of NuStar Energy, Greehey then led NuStar's separation from Valero, and under his leadership, NuStar has also achieved dramatic growth and success, and recently was ranked by Platts as the second fastest growing energy company in the Americas. “I am living proof that education is the key to success, and those of us who have achieved success have a duty to help those who are less fortunate than we are,” said Greehey. And there is no better way to do this than by investing in education.” Council of Public University Presidents and ChancellorsRissa Potter, 512-923-8517rpotter@cupuc.orgorNuStar EnergyMary Rose Brown, 210-918-2314maryrose.brown@nustarenergy.comorSt. Mary?s UniversityGina Farrell, 210-431-4377gfarrell@stmarytx.edu