September 28, 2011
Alumnus of the Year
Graduate who has demonstrated remarkable achievement in the previous year
Bob Brewton, BBA '74
- President and owner of Brewton Investment Corporation
- Founder and chairman of the board of directors of the Baylor Angel Network
- University-appointed trustee for Baylor College of Medicine
- Baylor Business Network of Houston board member
- Baylor's Bush Library Steering Committee member
- Houston Host Committee for the Texas Bowl, where he helped 400 Texas Children's Hospital patients and their families attend the game
- Active in Second Baptist Church, Houston
- Founding director, Yellowstone Academy, a faith-based school for severely impoverished children
- Director, Amerson Music Ministries, Los Angeles
- Wife, Cathron Snider Brewton, BA '75, and daughters, Rory Brewton, JD '08, and Casey Brewton
- 2011-12 Baylor Meritorious Achievement Award Winners
Memphis, Tenn., native Bob Brewton experienced the benefits of a Christian education firsthand, and he is making sure young people today have the same opportunity.
"Baylor not only gave me a wonderful education, it gave me my wife of almost 36 years (Cathron Snider, BA '75), the beginnings of my career, and the beginnings of my adult life," says Brewton, who has forged his career in the real estate industry. "[Former Baylor administrator] Virginia Crump and [former business school dean] Dr. Richard Scott introduced me to Hank Dickerson, a Baylor alumnus in Dallas, who gave me my first job. The underpinning that Baylor gave me to get started has made a significant difference in my life."
The Brewtons believe education, particularly Christian education, is the answer to many of the problems facing our world today. Brewton was a founding director of Yellowstone Academy, a private, faith-based school that serves severely impoverished children of Houston's Third Ward. It opened in 2002.
"These children basically have no chance in life from the start," Brewton explains. "We know that faith-based education can change these kids' lives because they are getting hope. They're getting to know Jesus Christ, and that is a guiding point in their lives.
"We view Baylor the same way," he continues. "Baylor provides a world-class education in a Christian environment. That's the reason Baylor means so much to us. We know it's going to provide the foundation upon which students can build their lives, the launching point for so many young people, just like it was for us."
From Houston to Waco, the ways Brewton has given back to Baylor are almost too numerous to count. He says he's most proud of the Baylor Angel Network (BAN), of which he is founder and chairman of the board of advisors. BAN connects entrepreneurs and Baylor alumni who like to invest in early stage companies with a primary focus of providing Baylor business students with hands-on entrepreneurial experience. As he often tells the BAN student analysts, "This is real money we are investing, not some case study where we are investing hypothetical Monopoly money."
A few years ago, Brewton met the co-founder and past chairman of Sun Microsystems. When Brewton learned how he came up with the company name, he got a bright idea for Baylor.
"He said SUN is an acronym for Stanford University Network. When he was in business school at Stanford, a group of alumni provided the initial seed capital to start Sun Microsystems. I immediately called [Hankamer School of Business dean] Dr. Terry Maness and said 'Terry, I just heard the greatest idea for us to implement at Baylor.' That conversation was the beginning of the BAN."
Through the Baylor Angel Network (www.baylor.edu/business/angelnetwork), Brewton has helped raise more than $1.7 million for capital investments and has increased the group to 35 Angels, all Baylor alumni and friends of Baylor. BAN also serves as a fundraising tool because investors agree to share part of their gains with the business school. BAN represents not only innovation in investing, but also innovation in the classroom by providing real-world situations to teach entrepreneurship, along with the innovative way it gets alumni involved in the business school.
"One of the great joys is getting to work very closely with our BAN student analysts. I get to communicate with them frequently," says Brewton, who emphasizes the camaraderie built both among the participating Angels and between alumni and students. "I have a real passion for interacting with young people and seeing how they thirst for learning."
Click here to nominate an individual for recognition as the 2012-13 Alumnus/Alumna or Young Alumnus/Alumna of the Year.