Texas Tech University

J. Pat Hickman

Former Chairman, Happy State Bank, a division of Centennial Bank
2022 Distinguished Alumni Award

In 1990, J. Pat Hickman founded Happy Bancshares, Inc. and led a group of investors in purchasing a small $10 Million bank in Happy, Texas (at purchase, the 812th largest bank in Texas). Over the next 32 years, he led Happy State Bank as Chairman, President & CEO growing to the 19th largest bank in Texas with $7.4 billion in assets serving 47 communities with 65 offices. In 2022, Happy Bank sold to HOME BancShares and Hickman serves on their Board of Directors.

Under his piloting, Happy Bank earned the Better Business Bureau's Torch Award for business ethics. It was named a nation-wide “Best Bank to Work For” eight consecutive years. In 2019, Forbes named the bank the third best bank in Texas.

He currently sits as a board member for the Texas Tech Foundation, the Panhandle-Plains Historical Society, The Cultural Foundation of the Texas Panhandle and the Amarillo Community Prayer Breakfast. In 2019, Texas Governor Greg Abbott appointed him to the Texas Economic Development Corporation Board.

Hickman's hometown of Canyon honored him as “Citizen of the Year” in 2008 and he was also inducted into the Canyon High School Hall of Fame in 2006. He is a past chairman of the Independent Bankers Association of Texas and was placed in its “Wall of Heroes & Legends” in 2019. He and his wife Nancy have four children and seventeen grandchildren. He attended Texas Tech from 1970-75, and he is currently taking classes today to finish his undergraduate degree at Texas Tech.

J. Pat Hickman, 2022 Distinguished Alumni