As we near the end of 2012, we wanted to take the time to give you an update on all of the great things that happened over the last 12 months. It has been an exciting year for us. In August we announced a $1 million challenge grant from BHP alumnus and El Paso native Woody Hunt. We have five years to raise $2 million in order to receive the full $1 million from Woody, and we are ready to rise to the challenge! These funds, which will be used for scholarships as well as faculty, student, and programmatic support, will no doubt make a truly lasting impact on the BHP.
This kind of support is needed, as the quality of the BHP students continues to increase. In 2012 we enrolled 116 very bright freshmen, who in addition to earning numerous academic accolades, were also top leaders at their schools. The average SAT of these students was a 1453 and the average class rank was in the top 2%. However, as some come in, some also go out, and in 2012 we graduated around 100 students who are now making a name for themselves in the workplace.
The 2012 senior class swept campus awards, receiving both of the campus-wide Outstanding Student Awards given by the Texas Parents’ Association, as well as three of the President’s Leadership Awards given by the Texas Exes. A BHP senior also received the McCombs Rising Star Leadership Award. These awards were further recognition of the fact that BHP students excel both in and out of the classroom, and truly make an impact on campus.
Our award streak continued beyond our students though, as BHP Advisory Board Chair Dominic Sung (’03) received the McCombs Rising Star Award during the McCombs Hall of Fame ceremony. This award is presented to alumni no more than 10 years out from graduation who have been successful professionally and helped strengthen the McCombs Alumni Network. Dominic is a Director of Structured Products in the Integrated Supply and Trading Group at BP.
Dominic and a team of alumni, along with BHP staff, have also been busy revamping the BHP Advisory Board. The Board has added new members and is focusing its attention around the areas of admissions and recruitment, fundraising, student mentoring, and alumni communication. We are already seeing the benefits of this increased focus and look forward to making more progress in the coming year.
Speaking of alumni communication, you may have noticed an increase in the information you are receiving from us. Over the last year, we developed an alumni e-newsletter, created an alumni Facebook group, enhanced our blog content, and grew our LinkedIn alumni group to nearly 900 members. All of this is part of a greater effort on our part to keep you abreast of what is going on with the program. We hope you find it beneficial, and as always, feel free to let us know if you have suggestions.
Finally, we want to let you know that we continue to do all we can to improve the program and make it the best it can be for current students. This year we added a new mentoring program, created student study circles, planned a new boot camp to help prepare students for one of their more difficult courses, and revamped curriculum – all of this in addition to providing them with opportunities to connect with employers, alumni, and C-level executives. In the same week, our students had a visit from the COO of SW Airlines one day and the CFO of Walmart the next!
As you can see, this year has been a great one. We are thankful for our wonderful students, alumni, and supporters. We will keep doing our part to protect the value of your degree and ensure that future generations of BHP students have the same opportunities you did. Happy holidays and onwards to 2013!