Street signs at an intersection in El Paso, Texas, now bear the names of two prominent alumni of Texas Tech University's Jerry S. Rawls College of Business.
During a dedication ceremony on Friday, university and city leaders recognized Robert Brown and Rick Francis for their contributions in developing the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso. Earlier this year, the intersecting streets of Alberta Avenue and North Concepcion Street on the campus were renamed Robert Brown Avenue and Rick Francis Street, respectively.
"Thanks to these visionaries, and many other individuals, we gather here at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso — the only health sciences center on the U.S.-Mexico border and the fourth university in the Texas Tech University System," said TTUHSC El Paso President Richard Lange. "It is a fitting honor to have these two streets named after them, right in the heart of campus."
El Paso City Council member Cassandra Hernandez initiated the dedication effort within the council by putting forth a motion last December for the street name change.
"The street sign represents a journey for me," Francis said. "We didn't get into this to get our names on streets or buildings. We got into it for a love of community and the opportunity to give back on our watch."
Both Brown, a 2004 Rawls College Distinguished Alumnus, and Francis, a 2008 Rawls College Distinguished Alumnus, have served on the Texas Tech University System Board of Regents and at different times as board chairmen.
• Brown, who is president of Brownco Capital LLC and chairman and CEO of RB Toyota
in Clovis, New Mexico, served on the board from 1995 to 2003 and was elected chairman
for a two-year term in 2001. He also served as a member of the Texas Tech Foundation
from 2004 until 2012. He earned his Bachelor of Business Administration in administration
and marketing from Texas Tech University in 1968, and his Doctor of Jurisprudence
from St. Mary's University.
• Francis, chairman and CEO of WestStar Bank, has served on the TTU System Board of Regents since 2003 and was chairman from 2005-2007 and again from February 2017 until October 2018. He earned his bachelor's degree in finance from Texas Tech University in 1978, and graduated from the Texas Tech School of Banking and Southern Methodist University's Southwest Graduate School of Banking.
Brown told TTUHSC El Paso after the ceremony that he looks forward to showing the street signs to his children.
"I don't think they are going to believe I have a street named after me," he said. "I can't believe it myself. We're going to have to come and take a lot of pictures."
For more details, see Ceremony Honors Two El Paso Philanthropists Instrumental in Development of TTUHSC El Paso.