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Dick and Jimmie Ruth Evans Dean's Scholarship in Business

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Dick Evans grew up in Uvalde, a small town west of San Antonio. He was born to a family of modest means, and he was only 14 when his father passed away. “I had to grow up fast,” he says, reflecting on his childhood. “I took a job as a janitor for the office building next to the local bank.” There, he met two men who would change his life: Tully Garner, son of former Vice President John Nance Garner, and Josh Ashby. The two men taught Dick the value of loyalty and relationships and introduced him to the possibility of banking as a career. With their help, Dick would go on to attend The University of Texas at Austin and eventually become the chairman and CEO of Frost Bank.

Garner and Ashby served as Dick’s mentors, and they paid for his tuition so that he could attend UT. He graduated in 1968 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, and he joined Frost Bank’s training program in 1971 after serving as an assistant national bank examiner with the Comptroller of the Currency.

In his 45 years with Frost Bank, he moved up the ranks from commercial loan services to vice president in commercial loan, credit, and marketing areas, then senior vice president, president, and eventually CEO and chairman, first of Frost Bank, in 1993, and then of Cullen/Frost Bankers Inc., in 1997. His strong leadership kept the company afloat during the financial crises of the 1980s and the recession of 2008.

He also served as director of the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank and was inducted in 2008 to the Texas Business Hall of Fame.

Educational and philanthropic endeavors are very important to Dick and his wife, Jimmie Ruth. Dick has served as a member and chairman of the board of directors of United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County, and he served as chairman of the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation and the San Antonio Medical Foundation. He is also a member of the board of trustees of the Texas State History Museum Foundation in Austin.

Dick is still grateful for the tremendous help that Garner and Ashby provided him as a boy. “Because the confidence others had in me was so critical to my own success, we want to pay it forward in a way that encourages others to succeed,” he explains. To do so, he and his wife, Jimmie Ruth, established the Dick and Jimmie Ruth Evans Dean’s Scholarship in Business. The scholarship helps undergraduate students in the McCombs School of Business, with preference given to Texas residents and to first-generation college students.

“The fact that I was able to rise from my very modest early years to become CEO of one of the greatest financial institutions in the U.S. is testament to what can happen when people believe in you,” he says. “It was the result of an outstanding education from The University of Texas at Austin, mentoring and encouragement along the way, and my great fortune to have made a career and a life working for Frost Bank.” He hopes that this scholarship can allow for students to have the same opportunities he did.

“Doing something to support students who represent the future of this great state fills us with hope. That’s why we are such big supporters of programs that give students the opportunity to shine and realize their leadership potential.”

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