McCombs Center for Global Business receives $2.5 million gift

Ali Juell, Senior news reporter

UT alumni Ray and Karen Brimble donated $2.5 million to the McCombs Center for Global Business to improve the center’s educational and career resources. 

Ray Brimble, founder and CEO of Lynxs Holdings,  said he’s acted as emeritus chair of the advisory board for most of his 30 years involved with the center.

As the international business major celebrates its 60th anniversary, the center’s director Deirdre Mendez said the gift will help the center improve its curriculum, alumni network and advising services so students can get the most out of their education. She said the gift will not only benefit international business majors but also students who take on one of the center’s three minors.

“International business is all around us,” Mendez said. “Any business student should expect it to touch their career in an important way, and having international coursework under their belt is going to give them an advantage.”

Brimble said the narrative surrounding business globalization has drastically changed since the international business major was created, and the gift will help the curriculum reflect the various consequences and benefits of globalization.

“It’s really the perfect time for us to re-examine the narrative,” Brimble said. “What we would like to have the students think about (is) where they need to go, how they relate to their fellow human beings around the world and what good that we can all do around the world.” 

International business senior Henna McRae said the program supported her trip to Indonesia last summer. This trip counted towards her international requirement, allowing her an experience that has been impactful in not only her education but her perspective of the world. 

“There’s a ton of freedom to just explore what you love in a globalized context and to then specifically study abroad,” McRae said. “It’s just been super cool to have those resources available, and I’m excited for students that are coming into this program to have even greater resources and ties to the alumni network.”

The gift will provide additional aid to help students complete the international requirement for their major or minor, Mendez said, removing barriers for students who otherwise wouldn’t be able to study abroad.

“Having that experiential component is a very important part of students’ understanding of the global context (of international business),” Mendez said. “We don’t want (money) to be a reason why students are unable to do our major or minors, and so adding funds to offset the cost of study abroad or an international internship is one of the aspects of the gift that’s really exciting for us.”

Mendez said she’s excited for what’s ahead and looks forward to the additional assistance international students will get to build their career paths and working relationships.

“We believe that what starts here changes the world, and we want to be sure it’s a positive change,” Mendez said. “We want to equip our students to make the changes that they want to make in the world and that the world needs.”