Business entrepreneur and lifelong Baylor supporter Troy Mitchell Mays was awarded the Founders Medal -- considered the University's highest honor -- at a ceremony attended by fellow alumni and friends on Jan. 30. The medal, established in 1969, is reserved for those who have made significant contributions to the life and future of the University.
"Imagine what kind of people helped found Baylor. They were quiet, persistent men of action, and I think that's the kind of person Troy Mays is," said Richard C. Scott, vice president for development. "He has been successful in everything he has ever gone into, and he and his family have been very generous to the University."
Mays was a student at Baylor from 1941 until 1942, when he joined the U.S. Navy following the attack at Pearl Harbor. He served three years as a quartermaster on a landing ship during World War II. He then returned to Amarillo, where he worked in business with numerous members of his family. During the next 50 years, he established himself as a successful entrepreneur and investor, particularly in real estate, and founded businesses in a variety of industries from ranching to recycling to hardware.
In 1993, Mays and his family established the Troy and Betty Mays Endowed Directorship of the Student Foundation, a Baylor organization that his daughters, Stacy Mays Sharp, BBA '76, and Karra Mays Hill, BSED '78, were involved in while Baylor students. In 2000, the Mays family funded the Betty Lou Mays Memorial Soccer Field in memory of his first wife, a Baylor Alumna-by-Choice.
The Mays family has provided significant financial support to several other capital projects including the McLane Student Life Center, Stacy Riddle Panhellenic Forum, Floyd Casey Stadium and George W. Truett Theological Seminary. He also established several endowed scholarships for students and an endowed professorship in Hankamer School of Business. He is an avid supporter of Baylor athletics and attends all football games.
Mays is married to Billye Mays, a Baylor Alumna-by-Choice. The couple has six grandchildren -- two are Baylor graduates and two are current students.