The Texas Business Hall of Fame recognized two Rawls College students for their accomplishments as future and current entrepreneurs pursuing higher education.
The Texas Business Hall of Fame (TBHF) named Texas Tech University Jerry S. Rawls College of Business students Henry Dorris and Callen Stewart as 2020 Future Texas Legends Scholar Award Recipients. Dorris and Stewart will each receive a $15,000 scholarship for demonstrating entrepreneurial drive, a commitment to growing or leading a business in Texas, and a strong sense of community and civic duty.
This year's award recipients were announced during a special video presentation featuring various TBHF Legends. Dorris and Stewart were introduced and congratulated by Founder of Western Refining and Franklin Mountain Management, Paul Foster. In addition to a scholarship, each winner receives permanent inclusion in the TBHF Network and Scholar Alumni Association.
"This is the first major award that I have ever won in my life, and it was a pretty surreal moment to find out the results," said Dorris. "The connections that can be made from joining this group will be much more valuable than any monetary value. I am truly thankful for this opportunity."
Dorris and Stewart are two of only 39 award recipients across the state of Texas to be recognized as 2020 Future Texas Legends Scholars. Applying is a competitive process that involves several steps. Applicants are required to submit a personal narrative of future plans as an entrepreneur, a nomination letter from a dean, program director or faculty member, and interview with members of the TBHF Board and Scholarship Committee.
"I am honored to join the 2020 TBHF recipient class alongside so many incredible individuals," said Stewart. "Anytime that I can represent Texas Tech, it is special to me."
Dorris, a senior supply chain management major, was nominated by Professor of Practice and Director of the Center for Sales & Customer Relationship Excellence, Atul Parvatiyar and received the McLane Company Reading Program Scholarship for his entrepreneurial aspirations and leadership achievements.
"Henry is an exceptional budding entrepreneur who has great leadership capabilities, high integrity and the drive to become highly successful in business," said Parvatiyar. "From day one he has impressed me with his positivity, goal orientation, and willingness to learn and pursue his entrepreneurial dreams."
Throughout his middle and high school tenure, Dorris ran several profitable business ventures, first selling soda door-to-door, then re-selling thrift store items online. As a college student, his entrepreneurial drive has continued to further his success. While studying full-time and serving as president of his fraternity, Dorris co-founded a premium men's clothing brand, TownNorth Clothing. Focused on creating comfortable, functional men's travel wear, Dorris designed and launched the brand's first collection in December of 2019. Looking into the future, he plans to increase marketing efforts and sales, in hopes of releasing additional collections.
"This scholarship will help our company achieve our goals. The money will go straight into running an efficient and effective marketing campaign to get our company off the ground," said Dorris. "Starting a successful company is a process, but this might be the boost we need to succeed."
Stewart was nominated by Professor of Entrepreneurship and Jean Austin Bagley Regents Chair in Management, Ronald Mitchell and received the Pefanis Family Scholarship Award for his eagerness to promote entrepreneurship by investing in business.
"I believe that in Callen, you find one of the most able individuals in the rising generation of young Texans," said Mitchell. "He is exactly the kind of person who exemplifies the aims of scholarship: enterprise, community and excellence."
Apart from this achievement, Stewart has a history of distinguished success. While an undergraduate biology major at Texas Tech, he was active in Dr. Bernard Harris Pre-Medical Society, served as treasurer for United Way and started his own mobile car wash. Within six years, Stewart grew his car washing company from a one-man operation ran out of a single vehicle to a business with five employees, two trucks and two trailers.
Most recently, while studying to earn his STEM MBA, Stewart co-founded West Texas Capital, a small business focused on growing liquidated capital and creating cash flow properties. Currently, his focus is on properties around the Texas Tech campus, which he hopes to purchase, rehab, then rent to college students in need of housing. Ultimately, Stewart hopes to transition to commercial real estate. He aspires to transform conventional office workspaces to create an improved environment that results in increased productivity. Stewart hopes to lease the workspaces to companies for business operations, thus making a profit.
"Being selected to represent Texas Tech for this scholarship is very special to me," said Stewart. "Not only will this scholarship help me kickstart my plans financially, but it will also allow me the opportunity to make connections. As an entrepreneur, much of one's success comes from relationships, and I look forward to meeting all the other recipients and learning more about them."
Originally, Dorris and Stewart were supposed to be recognized during the 38th Annual TBHF Induction Dinner in Dallas, Texas later this month; however, due to concerns regarding Coronavirus, the induction dinner has been postponed until fall 2021.