BA 151 Lyceum Students Receive Priceless Advice from Alum

Written by Victoria Bennett

In a recent BA 151H Honors Lyceum class, the sophomores were visited by Mandy Price, Co-Founder and CEO at Kanarys, Inc. An alumnae of both the Canfield Business Honors Program and Harvard Law School, Price shared how her background working in financial services and practicing law led to her current passions and career path. Throughout the question-and-answer based discussion, Price not only shared her own unique story, but gave students insights into how to navigate their own interests during their time in CBHP and after graduation.

During her time on the Forty Acres, Ms. Price studied Finance in addition to the Business Honors curriculum. She was involved in multiple organizations on campus, and spent her summers interning in financial services. These experiences gave her practical experience in her field of study and also allowed her to consider whether or not she saw herself in these roles after graduation.

Immediately following her graduation in 2003, Price continued her education at Harvard Law School. From the content to the teaching style, she described how law school provided a very different learning experience from her undergraduate education and how this helped her grow and develop. One thing her undergraduate and graduate education had in common was the community. She described how she found community with other Texans at Harvard Law, many of whom were Texas Exes, who would do everything from watch football games together to host professional events.

Upon graduating from law school, Price began her professional career as a corporate attorney at Weil, Gotshal, & Manges LLP. She described how her career in corporate law gave her the unique opportunity to combine her education in both finance and law. In her 10 years at the company, she worked on numerous mergers & acquisitions where she was able to bring her unique financial understanding to her work. Following her time at this firm, she also worked at Barnes & Thronburg LLP where she was a partner working primarily with private equity firms.

Although Price enjoyed her time practicing law, her experiences on various firm committees (e.g. Diversity Committee, Woman’s Task Force and Hiring Committee), highlighted the challenges organizations face when it comes to diversity and inclusion issues.  This led her to the creation of her company, Kanarys, Inc., a social enterprise focused on helping organizations build more inclusive cultures. The company is a direct response to the issues Price saw in the workplace, and the company has a goal of using data to create a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable work environment worldwide.

After the class session, the sophomore class left feeling inspired by Mandy Price and her story. She used her unique career path to talk candidly to the students about the importance of exploring academic interests and acknowledged that everyone’s path both through and after their time in CBHP will look different. In addition, her story of seeing a problem in her day-to-day life and creating her own company to create a solution, showed students that they can make real change in the world around them.


Newly Named Canfield Business Honors Program Recognizes Generous Alumnus

Written by Kylie Fitzpatrick

Phil Canfield drew on his UT business knowledge to become a successful private equity investor. Now, he’s investing in the university that helped launch his career, making a generous multimillion-dollar gift to advance the Business Honors Program at the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin.

Canfield, managing director at the private equity firm GTCR in Chicago, and his wife Mary Beth are giving the program $20 million. In their honor, it will be renamed the Canfield Business Honors Program.

“We both believe if you’re helping education and you’re helping people get access to education, that is the single highest leverage and best ROI investment you can make philanthropically,” Canfield said.

A Texas native and 1989 Business Honors graduate, Canfield has been deeply reflective and thoughtful about the decision to make the gift. He says it’s his way of showing gratitude to the university for the substantive education he received.

“I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t been in that program,” Canfield said. “It launched what’s been a really fun and successful investment career, and in many ways, I feel like it’s a dividend back to the school for the investment that the school made in me back then.”

The gift will provide full-tuition scholarships, improve recruitment of the brightest and best students, increase the national reputation of Business Honors and help boost and broaden program offerings and student resources.

“In order to make a gift like this, you have to have confidence in the leadership,” Canfield said. “My conversations with Dean Hartzell give me faith and trust in his vision for the program and his ability to execute. My confidence is very high.”

Canfield says one of his defining moments in deciding to make the gift was when he returned to campus three years ago as a parent of a prospective Business Honors student.

“It made me realize two things,” Canfield said. “First, for as great as I thought the program was when I was here, it’s 100 percent better now. Second, it’s the best undergraduate business education in the country and world, but it’s not broadly recognized at the national level, so part of what I want to do is elevate the status of BHP.”

“Phil and Mary Beth’s transformative gift will take McCombs’ outstanding Business Honors Program to new heights, and they’ll provide greater opportunity for business students to come to UT, pursue their dreams and make vital contributions,” said Gregory L. Fenves, president of the university. “The Canfields’ gift will change the game for the McCombs School of Business. And, for future UT students, it will also be a life-changer.”

We are thrilled and grateful to the Canfields for their investment in our honors program. Their generosity will allow us to improve what is already an amazing program, and to ensure that we will always provide our students with the education, exposure and community they need to become excellent leaders in business and society,” said Dean Jay Hartzell. “I also firmly believe that this investment will make a material difference — not only in the honors program, but also in the broader community, increasing our national reputation and the impact of our school and university.”

The Canfields’ gift will not only assist UT Business Honors students, it will also leave a lasting legacy for generations to come.

“Mary Beth and I try very hard, in all the organizations and all the communities we’re involved with, to lead by example and do it with kindness and humility,” Canfield said.