Belton, Texas – The University of Mary Hardin-Baylor announced this morning that its College of Business has a new name: the McLane College of Business. The change was made to honor Elizabeth and Drayton McLane, Jr., and their family for their generous support of the university.
“The relationship with the McLane family began more than 40 years ago,” said Dr. Randy O’Rear, university president. “They have supported our university in a variety of ways: from scholarships to lecture series to building projects that have enhanced academics and campus life. They recently made the largest gift in the history of the university for Crusader Stadium, our new on-campus football stadium, and a new student union building. This beautiful complex will transform the student life experience at UMHB for generations to come.
“We consider it a great honor that Drayton and Elizabeth have agreed to let our business school carry their family name,” O’Rear continued. “The McLane family has demonstrated that business practices based on integrity, honesty, and Christian values lead to amazing success. These are the qualities that we want our business students to incorporate in their own lives, and we hope that this new name will inspire our students to become ethical business leaders themselves as they move into their careers.”
Drayton McLane, Jr., was born in Cameron, Texas. He earned a BBA from Baylor University in 1958 and an MBA from Michigan State University in 1959. Returning to Texas, he went to work at McLane Company, a wholesale grocery company founded by his grandfather in 1894 and developed by his father. The company was based on honesty, integrity, and high Christian principles, and that tradition has been carried on through the years. His father believed that an effective leader had to earn the respect of all employees, so Drayton’s first job was entry level, loading trucks on the night shift. Over the next two decades, he worked his way up through a series of jobs in the company to become executive vice president in 1965, and in 1978 he was named president and CEO.
During those years, Drayton helped his father build a strong grocery distribution network that served convenience stores, supermarkets, fast food stores, and family-owned businesses. They were among the first to use new technology to computerize the distribution system, a move that led to the company’s average yearly sales growth of 30% or more for 32 consecutive years. In 1990 McLane Co. agreed to merge with Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., and Drayton remained president and CEO of McLane Co., Inc., and vice chairman of Wal-Mart. In 1995 he resigned both positions to devote his full time as chairman of the McLane Group holding company.
Today, Drayton McLane, Jr., spends the majority of his time working with McLane Group and McLane Advanced Technologies in Temple. He and Elizabeth are the former owners of the Houston Astros Baseball Club, which they purchased in 1992 and sold in 2011. Always committed civic leaders, they continue to focus on charitable concerns.
Elizabeth and Drayton live in Temple, Texas. They are proud parents and grandparents and enjoy spending their time with family. They have two sons, Drayton McLane III and Denton McLane. Drayton III and his wife, Amy, have three sons: Drayton IV, Brooks, and Walker. Denton and his wife, Amy, have two sons, Jeff and Jake.
The announcement of the new name came during the university’s annual Convocation ceremony on Wednesday morning. Advance publicity had listed Drayton McLane, Jr., as the keynote speaker for the event, but the name change was a well-kept secret until it was announced to the more than 2,700 students, faculty, and staff members gathered for the ceremony. The news brought a standing ovation from the university community.
“The McLane name is associated with business success, but it also signifies Christian leadership, a dedication to family, and a commitment to community service,” said Dr. Steve Oldham, provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. “These are qualities that are perfectly aligned with values we teach at UMHB. The name ‘McLane College of Business’ sends a clear message that this is a place dedicated to both excellence and ethics, and that we prepare our graduates to employ the highest Christian principles in all aspects of their careers.”