Ben F. Love Chair in Bank Management
Ben F. Love, retired Chairman and Chief Executive officer of Texas Commerce Bancshares, Inc., was born on November 19, 1922, in Vernon, Texas. At an early age he moved with his family to Paris Texas, where he grew up and graduated from high school. His college education was interrupted by World War II, during which he flew combat for one year in Europe as an 8th Air Force Captain, concluding his tour with eleven combat decorations including the Distinguished Flying Cross. On September 20, 1947, Mr. Love married Margaret McKean of Austin.
He received the Bachelor of Business Administration degree in June 1948 from The University of Texas at Austin. Following his graduation he founded a manufacturing company, Gift-Raps which he merged with a New York Stock Exchange Company in 1962.
Mr. Love entered banking in 1956 first as an outside director and later as president of River Oaks Bank and Trust of Houston. In 1967, he joined Texas Commerce Bank-Houston and was named President in 1969. He was elected Chairman and CEO of Texas Commerce Bancshares in December, 1972. He completed his 17th year as Chairman and CEO of Texas Commerce Bancshares in December, 1989 and retired.
In May, 1987, Texas Commerce Bancshares and Chemical Banking Corporation merged, thus creating the fourth largest banking organization in the United States. This merger was the largest interstate banking merger in the nation’s history and united two of the nation’s largest banking markets … Texas and New York. In addition to Texas Commerce Bancshares, Inc., Mr. Love served on the following corporate boards of directors: Burlington Northern, Inc. (Ft. Worth), Cox Enterprises, Inc., (Atlanta), Eli Lilly and Company, (Indianapolis), Mitchell Energy & Development Corporation, (Houston) and Froler International Corporation (Houston).
Mr. Love was active on numerous charitable, cultural and civic Boards. He was Chairman of the Greater Houston Partnership—the umbrella organization for the Greater Houston Chamber of Commerce, the Houston Economic Development Council and the Houston World Trade Association. He served as Vice Chairman of the Houston Host Committee for the 1990 Economic Summit of Industrialized Nations. He was Chairman of the Houston Host Committee for the 1992 Republican National Convention.
Mr. Love has served as a member of the CBA Foundation Advisory Council and as its Chairman during the 1972-73 Academic Year. In 1975 he was designated a Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Texas at Austin and was elected by the faculty to the University of Texas College of Business Administration Hall of Fame. In 1983 he was chosen Texas Business Executive of the Year by Texas A&M University’s College of Business Administration, the first non-Aggie ever to be selected for this award.
Mr. Love was Chairman of the Council of Overseers of the Jesse Jones School of Administration, Rice University. He was a member of the Board of Visitors of the University of Houston System, a trustee of Trinity University and a member of the Board of Directors of the Texas Medical Center. He was Chairman of the Board of The Houston Grand Opera, Chairman of the Board of visitors of M.D. Anderson Hospital, and Chairman and President of M.D. Anderson Cancer Center Outreach Corporation, and a member of the Houston Ballet Foundation Board of Visitors.
Mr. Love was named Houston’s “Cultural Leader of the Year” for 1977 and in 1980 was honored with the “People of Vision Award” by the Texas Society to Prevent Blindness. The Houston Board of Realtors named him the “Key Houstonian of the Year for 1982.” In 1988 Mr. Love received the Brotherhood Award from the National Conference of Christians and Jews. The Houston School for the Deaf Children named Margaret and Ben Love “Houstonians of the Year” for 1988. Finance Magazine named Ben Love “Regional Banker of the Year” for 1975 and Financial World Magazine honored him as Chief Executive Officer of a National Bank for 1975 and again in 1980. In 1984, Dun’s Business Month designated Texas Commerce Bancshares as one of the nation’s five best-managed companies. Mr. Love was inducted into the Texas Business Hall of Fame in October, 1989.
Mr. Love provided the primary leadership in the establishment of many of the earliest endowed centennial professorships in the College and Graduate School of Business of The University of Texas at Austin. The Texas Commerce Bancshares, Inc. Centennial Professorship in Commercial Banking was established in 1981 with the participation of hundreds of UT-Austin alumni who were the officers, directors, or employees of Texas Commerce Bancshares, Inc. and its affiliates. This professorship was matched by the Board of Regents to establish the Texas Commerce Bancshares, Inc., Centennial Professorship in Business Communications.