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What Can Happen When People Believe in You

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Dick & Jimmie Ruth Evans

Dick and Jimmie Ruth Evans support first-generation college students in the McCombs School of Business.

Born to a family of modest means in Uvalde, west of San Antonio, Dick Evans, BBA ’68, was 14 when his father died. “I had to grow up fast,” he says. “I took a job as a janitor for the office building next to the local bank.”

That’s where he met two individuals who would change his life. Serving as mentors, each businessman imparted to Evans in his own way the value of loyalty and relationships. They also introduced him to the possibility of banking as a career and covered the cost of his tuition so he could go to UT.

Evans joined Frost Bank’s training program in 1971 after serving as an assistant national bank examiner with the federal Comptroller of the Currency. In his 45 years with Frost, he moved up the ranks from commercial loan services to vice president in the commercial loan, credit, and marketing areas.

He then ascended to senior vice president, president, and eventually CEO and chairman, first of Frost Bank in 1993 and then of Cullen/Frost Bankers, Inc., in 1997. His leadership helped keep the company afloat during the 1980s and the recession that began in 2008. He also served as director of the Dallas Federal Reserve Bank and on the Federal Advisory Council in Washington, D.C.

“The fact that I was able to rise from my early years to become CEO of one of the greatest financial institutions in the U.S. is testament to what can happen when people believe in you,” says the Texas Business Hall of Fame inductee, who retired from Cullen/Frost this spring.

Education and philanthropy are important to Evans and his wife, Jimmie Ruth, with service on the boards of United Way of San Antonio and Bexar County and the San Antonio Livestock Exposition, among many charitable involvements.

Grateful for the tremendous help he received as a teenager, Evans serves on the McCombs School of Business Advisory Council, and the couple has established the Dick and Jimmie Ruth Evans Dean’s Scholarship in Business to help undergraduates succeed, with preference given to Texas residents and first-generation college students.

“Doing something to support students who represent the future of this great state fills us with hope. That’s why we’re such big supporters of programs that give students the opportunity to shine and realize their leadership potential.”

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