Judy and John Goolsby

Judy and John Goolsby John Goolsby traces his achievements in the corporate world to the solid foundation he received as a UTA student in the early 1960s.

“Whatever successes that I accomplished during my business career started with the education that I received at UTA,” said the former president, chief executive officer and director of the Howard Hughes Corp. “The professors provided a great base for me to build my career around.”

When Goolsby (’64 BBA) got the chance to give back to his alma mater, he didn’t hesitate.

An anonymous donor funded a $2 million gift—the largest in UTA history—in honor of Goolsby and his wife, Judy, to establish the Goolsby Leadership Academy and Goolsby Distinguished Professorships in the College of Business Administration.

“I was fortunate to have the opportunity to direct a major gift to the University. I am extremely thankful to the donor,” Goolsby said. “This gift will create a unique opportunity to make a real difference in the educational experience offered to the students selected to participate.”

Higher education has made a difference in the lives of the Goolsbys and their children. It’s one of the most important investments a young person can make, Judy says, and can never be taken away. “A college education teaches you how to learn, and you never stop learning after that.”

Students in the academy, which will begin operation in the fall, will be chosen based on their academic record and leadership potential. They’ll be taught by Goolsby Professors and mentored by members of the business college’s advisory council and other corporate leaders.

“This program will be considered a success, in my opinion, if these students are successful on their own in the careers that they’ve chosen,” John said.

Goolsby joined the Hughes organization in 1980 as vice president of real estate and directed the company’s transition from a diversified entity to a focused regional real estate investment and development company. He retired in 1998.

He was named a UTA Distinguished Business Leader in 1994 and a Distinguished Alumnus in 1998. He serves on UTA’s Development Board and The University of Texas System Chancellor’s Council and is a lifetime member of the UTA Alumni Association.

“Alumni who have been successful need to come back and share that success,” he said. “Private support gives you that margin of excellence that any great university needs.”

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