Noted Houston Leaders Comprise UH Board of Visitors

New Group Dedicated to Strengthening UH’s Connection to Community, Industry

The University of Houston has selected a “who’s who” of esteemed business and civic leaders to serve on its newly created Board of Visitors. As the University continues to enhance and broaden its partnerships throughout Houston and beyond, this distinguished group will provide valuable support, thought leadership and advocacy for the University.

The board’s insight will be particularly vital to UH in its efforts to remain a nationally competitive institution committed to student success and community engagement. Likewise, board members’ collective experience also will be an asset to the University as it continues to build on strategic initiatives that will strengthen its Tier One status: energy, health, arts and nationally ranked centers of excellence.

The 46-member board is dedicated to enhancing the University’s presence in the city of Houston and beyond. Likewise, it serves in an advisory capacity, providing strategic counsel to UH President Renu Khator and her cabinet. Board members also are tasked with connecting the University with key constituents and community members.

Formed in late 2013, the board includes loyal alums and longtime supporters of the University. Led by chair John T. McNabb II, its members are appointed to serve three-year terms as ambassadors and advisers for the University.

“The members of this group were selected for their expertise and excellence in a variety of fields,” said McNabb, vice chairman of investment banking for Duff and Phelps and chairman of the board for Willbros Group. “This board is comprised of people who care about Houston and are confident that UH can play a vital role in advancing the city.”

Members of the UH Board of Visitors include noted professionals from a range of industries. They all share a passion for the University and its mission. In addition to McNabb, board members include its vice chair, alumnus Marvin E. Odum III, president and Upstream America director of Shell Oil; Jack Moore, chairman of the board of Cameron; Eric Hilton, former vice chairman of Hilton Hotels; former Texas Lt. Gov. William Hobby; the Rev. William Lawson, pastor emeritus of Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church; alumna and KPRC NBC Channel 2 anchor Dominique Sachse; alumnus and Olympic gold medalist Carl Lewis, president and CEO of Carl Lewis Entertainment Group; James R. Crane, chairman of the Houston Astros; alumnus and professional golfer Fred S. Couples; alumnus Floyd C. Wilson, chairman and CEO of Halcón Resources Corporation;  alumnus Richard Rawson, management director and president of Insperity; and alumna Nelda Luce Blair, former chair of the UH System Board of Regents and president of the Blair Law Firm. A complete list of members can be found on the UH Board of Visitors website.

“This board is incredibly important because it brings people together who are connected to UH. But, these connections are in the community rather than on campus,” Blair said. “As board members, we have the opportunity to further the connection between the University and the community.”

“This city is one of the most prosperous cities in the U.S.,” added fellow board member William Granville III, CEO and managing member of Granville Financial Group, who also contributes his time as a mentor for the C.T. Bauer College of Business’ Future Leaders Mentor Program. “We need a strong University that will continue to prosper to support Houston’s growth. This board has an opportunity to strengthen and enhance UH’s image, as well as develop strategic partnerships and relationships.”

The UH Board of Visitors conducted its inaugural meeting in December 2013 and recently assembled for an on-campus workshop to share thoughts on how UH can bolster its position as a partner to the city. Khator contributed to these discussions and offered her thanks to the board for the time and energy it has dedicated to the University.

“As a university, we are committed to helping Houston continue to prosper and, in turn, we deeply appreciate the support we receive from the community,” Khator said. “Our new Board of Visitors will allow us to expand and enhance that mutually beneficial relationship.  I am extremely impressed by the caliber of those who have agreed to serve and equally grateful for their dedication.”

To learn more about the UH Board of Visitors, contact or call 713-743-8362.

The University of Houston is a Carnegie-designated Tier One public research university recognized by The Princeton Review as one of the nation’s best colleges for undergraduate education. UH serves the globally competitive Houston and Gulf Coast Region by providing world-class faculty, experiential learning and strategic industry partnerships. Located in the nation’s fourth-largest city, UH serves more than 39,500 students in the most ethnically and culturally diverse region in the country. For more information about UH, visit the University’s newsroom at