Memorializing a longstanding friend and mentor, Carlos Alvarez and his wife, Malú, have given The University of Texas at San Antonio $2 million to establish the Tom C. Frost Distinguished University Chair for Business Excellence. The endowment will be held by the dean of the business school—making this the first time in UTSA history for a dean to hold two chaired positions. In 2012, James Bodenstedt, ’96 established the Bodenstedt Chair for the Dean of Business.
The chair honors the late Tom C. Frost, a renowned business leader, philanthropist and advocate for UTSA who died in 2018. His many notable contributions to the university included chairing the UTSA Development Board, serving as Campaign Chair for the university’s first-ever capital campaign and establishing the Frost Finance Chair in the Alvarez College of Business.
“Tom Frost was extremely generous with the time, attention and advice he gave me,” said Alvarez, who serves as a co-chair of UTSA’s Campaign Leadership Council. “I guess he took an interest in supporting a young Mexican entrepreneur doing business in the U.S., maybe thinking of his own experiences while in Mexico.”
UTSA President Taylor Eighmy added, “Carlos and Malú Alvarez have once again shown us that their deep generosity to UTSA has no bounds. Their passion for supporting educational opportunity and the economic development of San Antonio helps ensure a bold future for UTSA and our community. Tom introduced Carlos to the university, and this gift recognizes their friendship. That makes it especially meaningful for us.”
“I got to learn about UTSA from the best: Tom Frost, Sam Barshop and Governor Briscoe,” said Alvarez. “I saw firsthand the devotion of these and other prominent community leaders to UTSA, and I have drawn from their passion for my involvement and love for this institution.”
The chair will be held by the dean of the Alvarez College of Business and will be used to support research-enhancing initiatives for the college. UTSA will be launching a search this month for a new dean to develop and implement a comprehensive and dynamic vision for the college that leverages the unique strengths of the university and the San Antonio and regional business community.
“Mr. Alvarez’s generous gift will allow UTSA to recruit a dynamic and entrepreneurial dean to lead our nationally ranked business school into the future,” said Kimberly Andrews Espy, UTSA provost and senior vice president for academic affairs. “As a catalyst for transformation, the Alvarez College of Business will support the economic, cultural and social development of San Antonio by producing future business leaders who are truly representative of our city and prepared to provide innovative solutions to global business challenges.”
A native of Mexico, Carlos Alvarez moved to San Antonio in the 1980s and founded The Gambrinus Company, one of the largest independent craft beer companies in the United States. He pioneered Corona Extra outside of Mexico, selling the first few cases in the United States in Austin, Texas in 1981. Later through Gambrinus, he helped drive Corona’s growth to become a top beer brand in the United States and around the world. He acquired Shiner in 1989. The small brewery in Shiner, Texas had experienced years of decline and was in serious financial trouble. Through major investments in the facilities and sales and marketing, the 112-year-old craft brewery is the leading craft brewery in Texas and a top craft brewer in the nation. In 2004 Alvarez opened the Trumer brewery in Berkeley, California – brewer of Trumer Pils – as the sister brewery of the Trumer Brauerei in Salzburg, Austria. Trumer Pils is a paragon of the pilsner beer style, having won 18 gold medals in the world’s most important beer competitions.
A prominent community leader, he serves on the boards of Cullen/Frost Bankers Inc., the United Way of San Antonio and the World Affairs Council of San Antonio. He is also a member of Haven for Hope’s leadership advisory council. At the national level he serves on the boards of National Public Radio and the World Affairs Council of America, both in Washington, D.C.
Longtime supporters of UTSA, the Alvarezes made a $20 million gift in March of this year in support of UTSA’s business school. In recognition of this gift the college was renamed the Carlos Alvarez College of Business, the first named college in UTSA’s history, and the first business school in the UT System named for a Hispanic person.
“As a Mexican American I am gratified to give back to UTSA’s Carlos Alvarez College of Business,” said Alvarez. “UTSA is a Hispanic Serving Institution where so many students are Latino like I am.”
UTSA will name the Dean’s Conference Room in the Business Building the Tom C. Frost Conference Room to further strengthen his lasting legacy as one of UTSA’s most prominent benefactors.
“This generous gift from Carlos and Malú Alvarez will enable UTSA to attract recruit high-quality leadership with the Tom C. Frost Distinguished University Chair for Business Excellence. Tom Frost taught us all the importance of attracting quality talent to our city and drawing talented faculty and administrators to UTSA was high on his priority list. Imagine the unlimited impact future generations of Alvarez graduates will have on our community, state and beyond. I am convinced my father is smiling at Carlos and Malú’s leadership in making UTSA such a strong institution,” said Don Frost, vice chair of UTSA’s Development Board and executive vice president of Frost Bank.
“Mr. Frost’s name will continue in perpetuity in the UTSA Carlos Alvarez College of Business through both the distinguished university chair and now the renaming of our conference room,” said Pamela C. Smith, interim dean of the college. “This association will inspire future business leaders to pursue not only business excellence, but also servant leadership through his example.”
Nationally ranked and recognized, the Alvarez College of Business encompasses more than 7,900 students, seven academic departments and two research centers. The college offers innovative programming at the undergraduate, graduate and doctoral levels in areas such as business analytics, cyber security, data analytics, and real estate finance and development as well as traditional business disciplines.
The college was named one of the top five undergraduate business programs in Texas by Bloomberg Businessweek and the No. 10 graduate business school in the nation for Hispanics by Hispanic Business. Accredited by AACSB International, the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business, the college is one of the 40 largest business schools in the nation.