Texas Exes CEO Retiring To Lead New Scholarship Foundation

Texas Exes CEO Jim BoonAfter 16 years as executive director and CEO of the Texas Exes, Jim Boon announced today he will step down in December to lead the newly formed Texas Exes Scholarship Foundation.

During Boon’s tenure as the fifth executive director in the organization’s 125-year history, revenues have more than doubled, staff size has nearly doubled, and membership has reached an all-time high. The Association’s assets have increased from under $10 million to more than $80 million, and its vast programming slate has made it a model for self-governed alumni associations nationwide.

“Jim Boon has been a truly fabulous leader of the Texas Exes,” said UT president William Powers. “I cannot express strongly enough my personal and UT’s gratitude for all the excellent work he and the Texas Exes under his leadership have done to advance our great University. He has been the face of UT for so many of our alumni, and we could not have had a better face. And, thankfully, he will still be part of our family as he continues to work on the 40 Acres Scholars Program. I want to congratulate him on the tremendous positive effect he has had, and wish him Godspeed as he makes this transition in his life.”

Under Boon’s leadership, the Texas Exes developed and opened Longhorn Village, a state-of-the-art retirement community in Steiner Ranch; secured exclusive rights to sell UT class rings; launched the UT Heritage Society; and largely expanded its legislative advocacy program.

Boon secured a $2 million gift from Jack Harbin to remodel the Alumni Center and a $1 million gift from John and Jane Barnhill in 2006 for a communications endowment and oversaw the fundraising and construction of the Texas Cowboys Pavilion. He has helped diversify the Board of Directors and emphasize Life Membership in the Texas Exes. In 1994, 52 percent of the Association’s members were Life Members versus 68 percent today.

“We will miss Jim’s leadership as executive director but will continue to work closely with him as he takes the lead in raising funds for the 40 Acres Scholars Program,” said Texas Exes president Richard Leshin. “Jim’s legacy as executive director will be ensuring that The University of Texas at Austin is a ‘university of the first class.’ We owe him a great debt of gratitude and our deepest appreciation.”

In conjunction with the University of Texas athletics department, Boon led the Texas Exes in launching the Texas Fans Make Us Proud campaign to promote good sportsmanship. The Texas Exes boast 150 chapters and networks worldwide, and recently have added young alumni groups in several cities and expanded into social networking.

This year, the Texas Exes is undertaking its most ambitious project ever, the 40 Acres Scholars Program, a merit-based scholarship program aiming to raise $150 million to support 300 full-ride scholarships to The University of Texas. The Texas Exes Scholarship Foundation was formed to oversee the 40 Acres Scholars Program, as well as the more than 700 other scholarships the Texas Exes administers. So far Boon has raised $22 million for the 40 Acres Scholars Program.

Recently, the Texas Society of Association Executives named Boon the 2010 recipient of its Distinguished Executive Award. “After 16 years of gameday tailgates, graduations, and ring ceremonies, I’m ready to let someone else have the fun,” Boon said. “The 40 Acres Scholars Program is where my heart really lies, and I want to devote my full energy to it.” On Friday, the Texas Exes Board of Directors named Boon the Scholarship Foundation’s first executive director.

President Richard Leshin has appointed a search committee to find Boon’s replacement. Their work is underway.



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