A communications pioneer, an academic leader and an oilman are the newest members of the McCombs School of Business Hall of Fame. Honorees Jack R. Crosby, William H. Cunningham and James R. Moffett will be inducted at a gala celebration on Oct. 28 at the ATandT Executive Education and Conference Center.
The Hall of Fame honors individuals who have made outstanding professional contributions to the business community, and who, by their exemplary civic, philanthropic and educational activities, have advanced humanity.
Jack R. Crosby is the founder and chairman of The Rust Group, a private investment partnership with investments in media, banking, real estate and oilfield services. His start in business began with bringing cable television to South Texas in the 1950s when he organized one of the first private entities to receive a license from the Federal Communications Commission to transmit television signals to the area around his hometown of Del Rio. This auspicious beginning led to his founding of eight major multiple-system cable companies, which served communities in the U.S., Latin America and Europe. Crosby graduated with a business degree from The University of Texas at Austin in 1949 and was honored as a distinguished alumnus of the university in 2009.
“Jack is the entrepreneur’s entrepreneur,” says Jack Gray, managing director and CEO of Gigared. “He’s launched hundreds of businesses, but more notably he’s launched the careers of hundreds of entrepreneurs. He’s provided knowledge, he’s provided encouragement, and in many cases he’s given entrepreneurs the confidence to go forward and pursue their dreams.”
William H. Cunningham, the James L. Bayless Chair for Free Enterprise and professor of marketing at McCombs, is the former president of The University of Texas at Austin and chancellor of The University of Texas System. With three degrees from Michigan State University, Cunningham joined the McCombs faculty in 1979, ascending to dean in 1983. In 1985 he assumed the role of president of the university, which he held until becoming chancellor in 1992. Cunningham, who serves as a director on several publicly traded boards, including Southwest Airlines (SWA) and Lincoln National Corp., returned full time to teaching and research in 2000.
“Bill joined the SWA board in 2000 and is one of our strongest board members,” says Gary Kelly, chairman and CEO of Southwest Airlines. “We’re very fortunate to have him. True character is displayed when times get tough, and Bill has always been there when we needed him.”
James R. Moffett is the chairman of Freeport-McMoRan Copper and Gold Inc., one of the world’s leading international mining companies. He also serves as co-chairman and CEO of McMoRan Exploration Co., which develops oil and natural gas reserves in the Gulf Coast area. Before earning a master’s in geology from Tulane, Moffett graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in 1961 with a degree in geology. He also played football for legendary Longhorns Coach Darrell Royal and was the team’s senior with the highest scholastic average.
“Jim Bob has a unique ability to pull people around him, to be an effective leader, to rally the troops, to make people get excited about what he’s excited about,” says Cunningham, who served as a director of Freeport-McMoRan from 1987 to 1995. “But he’s always the first person to give other people credit.”
Recent graduates Matt Chasen, MBA ’04, and David Murrell, BBA ’01, will be recognized with the Rising Star Award during the Hall of Fame celebration.
High-resolution images of inductees are available.