Courtesy of UTSA
San Antonio philanthropist and billionaire Red McCombs spoke at this semester’s College of Business Frost Distinguished Lecture series. McCombs is the founder of the Red McCombs Automotive group in San Antonio and has been featured in Forbe’s magazine as one of America’s top 400 richest men.
Introduced by UTSA President Ricardo Romo, McCombs thanked the UTSA College of Business, the UTSA faculty and Frost Bank for their dedication to educating the next generation of young leaders.
Speaking to a full house in the Richard S. Lui Auditorium, McCombs reminisced about the hard work and dedication that went into making UTSA the growing, diverse university it is today. He emphasized the many opportunities UTSA provides to its alumni, current students and future students.
McCombs told students, “When you leave here, we want you to be so proud of the time you spent here, and so prepared that you’ll be able to do a good job for anybody in anything.”
He stressed the importance of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) degrees and choosing a beneficial career.
“As students, what I want the most out of you is that, when you put your head on the pillow every night, that you’re excited about what you learned that day.”
McCombs also expressed his excitement regarding UTSA’s Top-Tier Campaign. He commended UTSA’s football Coach Larry Coker and Director of Athletics Lynn Hickey for their exemplary performance in improving UTSA’s athletic merit.
“I didn’t come out here to make a speech to you. I came out here to share some time with you about how we use our time and how we grow by the use of our time,” said McCombs as he began the question and answer session.
He spoke of starting his business from scratch and what inspired him to succeed, mentioning those whom he called his “heroes,” or more specifically, “everyone around me making something happen.”
“He (Warren Buffet) became one of the richest men in the world, and the way he did it was through an old book that you can pick up from the public library,” said McCombs.
“So there’s nobody sitting in this room that if you didn’t have anything better to do, you can look and see what Buffet did, and you can start doing the same thing.”
“Bill Gates found out at a very early age that he had technology that the business world didn’t have, and they would pay him billions of dollars for it. He would have none of that. He was not interested in money. e was interested in technology, and then the money.”
He continued, “Those are guys that show us a path. They show that any of us can take a shot at doing the same things they do.”
On his flaws, Mr. McCombs candidly stated, “I am not a quick learner. Usually when I get into something that doesn’t work, I make the same mistakes.”
In his final words to the student body, he said, “I wish all of you the best. Keep in mind that the Roadrunners need you. The records we set last year were just the beginning. I believe you can do something no school can do.”
Following the speech, Student Government President Zack Dunn presented Mr. McCombs with the coveted Roadrunner Prize.