Texas Tech University

Aldersons, Griffins Relaunch Texas Tech Center for Family Business & Entrepreneurship

Stacy Cavila

April 7, 2022


With generous gifts from two prominent entrepreneurial families, the center housed within the Rawls College of Business now bears a new name.

Two names synonymous with family business are breathing new life into Texas Tech University's  Jerry S. Rawls College of Business. David and Lisa Alderson, along with Texas Tech Regent Mark Griffin and his wife Claudia, provided gifts to create the first endowment for what is now named the Alderson & Griffin Center for Family Business & Entrepreneurship in their honor. 

Originally created in 2016, the center connects family business leaders and entrepreneurs to the Texas Tech campus and alumni community. The new endowment from the Alderson and Griffin families will provide funding in perpetuity to offer greater services to these groups and enhance the education provided to students who aspire to work in family business or become entrepreneurs. 

“Lisa and I are honored and excited to establish the Alderson & Griffin Center for Family Business & Entrepreneurship,” said David Alderson. “Having Mark and Claudia Griffin is an added bonus. Our vision is for the center to be a resource for students across Texas Tech. The larger picture is to be a resource to all graduates of Texas Tech who find themselves in first-, second- or third-generation family businesses, and assist them in making successful transitions for both family and non-family stakeholders.”

Both Alderson and Griffin led multigenerational family businesses. Alderson served as president and CEO of Alderson Enterprises, a third-generation family auto business that recently sold to Cavender Auto Family, a fourth-generation family business. Griffin is president and CEO of The Griffin Companies and Pro Petroleum Inc., companies started in Lubbock by his father, Rip Griffin.

“Claudia and I are thrilled to partner with Lisa and David Alderson to establish this center,” Griffin said. “Our desire is for this center to be an accessible resource for any Texas Tech student or graduate who has questions about, or is considering, sustaining a business that is part of their family structure. It will be broad in scope but will shine a light on particular aspects and considerations that are part of any family enterprise while encouraging and nurturing an entrepreneurial spirit. We anticipate both undergraduate as well as graduate offerings to guide and assist in the transition from second-generation family members and beyond. This center, we believe, has the potential to be a center of excellence at Texas Tech and nationwide.”

With the endowment, Rawls College is building a certificate program for undergraduates in family enterprise. Students in the program will have access to internships, strategic projects and job placements within family businesses and startups. Partnering businesses gain access to educational and support opportunities from family business faculty members, thought leaders and a peer support group. Future gifts will provide faculty support and student scholarships. 

“The vision of the Alderson and Griffin families will allow the Rawls College to take our classes, programs and outreach in entrepreneurship and family business to new levels,” said Margaret L. Williams, dean of Rawls College. “Based on the vision of David Alderson and Mark Griffin, the center will create opportunities for multiple generations of family business owners to enhance their success, for students to learn directly from entrepreneurs and family business owners and for our faculty to break new ground in research. I am grateful for David and Mark's generosity and commitment to this shared enterprise.”

The Alderson & Griffin Center for Family Business & Entrepreneurship becomes the Rawls College's fourth endowed program since 2018, joining the Excellence in Banking Program, the Scovell Business Leadership Program and the E.W. and J. David Williams Institute for Community Banking and Finance. 

To learn more about the center or join its network, contact Maggie Baker, director of development for the Rawls College of Business, at (806) 834-6808 or maggie.baker@ttu.edu or Ryan Todd, senior director of development, at (806) 834-1959 or ryan.todd@ttu.edu