The University of Houston’s colleges of business and engineering have gained new support from one of the city’s energy leaders, which has donated money to a variety of programs and student support services.
Phillips 66, a Houston-based energy manufacturing and logistics company, was created in 2012 through a split with ConocoPhillips. It cracked the top 10 in the Fortune 500 last year, reaching No. 6 with revenue over $161 billion in 2013.
“Phillips 66 wants to support the development of a diverse, agile and highly-capable workforce in the city where our company is headquartered,” said Greg Maxwell, executive vice president and chief financial officer of Phillips 66. In making the donation, the company recommended it be allocated to a number of programs.
Latha Ramchand, dean of the C. T. Bauer College of Business, said the company’s vision for a skilled workforce that can adapt to a changing marketplace mirrors the philosophy at the Bauer College.
“Through their gift, our students will benefit from additional scholarship opportunities. Their funds will also help to support our accounting programs, student organizations, Rockwell Career Center and Bauer Business Honors,” she said.
Leaders at UH chapters of student business organizations said they will put the money to work in preparing themselves to succeed in the corporate world.
“We prepare members to be a success in the business world,” said Jose Perez, president of the Hispanic Business Students Association, one of the student organizations to receive funding from the gift. “We start promoting college with high school students. Once they get to UH, we work on communication skills, presentation skills. We give them opportunities to network. The donation from Phillips 66 can help with all of that.”
Maxwell met with students from Bauer and the Cullen College of Engineering in May before making the $100,000 donation, to be used during the 2014-15 academic year.
Christine Bang, corporate relations officer for the Asian Business Student Association, said her organization tries to model the “three Ps – professional development, peer networking and public service – and every donation counts, especially those from corporations.”
She said the donation from Phillips 66 would allow the group to hold additional professional development workshops for its members.
In the College of Engineering, the departments of mechanical engineering and chemical and biomolecular engineering will receive funding. Student professional organizations, scholarship programs and career service programs in both colleges will also receive funding, as will the University’s Honors College.