Bret Baccus ’89 has seen his professional career include positions in both internationally- recognized accounting firms, such as PricewaterhouseCoopers and Arthur Anderson, and smaller startups. He’s also found ways to use his business knowledge to serve a variety of nonprofits in his adopted home of Houston, including Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston, Career and Recovery Resources, and the Houston chapter of the Human Rights Campaign.
Ultimately, Baccus credits Texas A&M University for helping him be prepared for each of these opportunities. “Texas A&M gave me a strong academic foundation and student experiences that created the basis for me to have a very successful career,” he said.
Now the managing director of global legal services company, Morae Global Corp., Baccus is committing part of his estate through a bequest to help future Aggies have the same opportunities that meant so much to him as a student. His gift will establish the Bret Baccus ’89 Foundation Excellence Award and support Mays Business School’s Business Fellows Program.
Baccus’s family had a tradition of attending public universities and state schools. Following in their footsteps, Baccus considered attending Texas A&M and The University of Texas at Austin as well as a few private colleges.
It was his initial trip to Aggieland that swayed his decision. “It was the overwhelming student friendliness that was pervasive on campus,” he said. “The cultural expectation that everyone participate fully in campus life also really drew me to the school. I wanted to be somewhere where everybody was genuinely friendly and engaged.”
The native of Amarillo knew he wanted to major in business but wasn’t initially sure where to focus his studies. That changed when he took a business analysis class as part of the Center for Management of Information Systems (CMIS) with Dr. Louise Darcey ’74. “She sketched out programming language on the projector, and I just loved that class,” he said. “I remember that first introductory lecture and picked my major that day because of her class.” The CMIS program has since remained a part of Baccus's life since he recruited Aggies from the program and served as an advisory board member.
Another turning point came when he joined the Mays Business Fellows Program, a management development program that included lectures, field trips, career development opportunities and internships. “It was a bit of a mini-MBA program. The Fellows gave me the leg up and provided the professional foundation for my career,” Baccus said, adding that he also made lifelong friends through the program.
SUPPORTING THE FUTURE
Not surprisingly, Baccus wants to help future Aggies have access to these types of opportunities. Baccus entered Texas A&M on a scholarship that defrayed the cost of his education. “That scholarship covered my tuition and fees,” he said. “Through creating the FEA scholarship, I’m giving back what I was given and supporting future generations of Aggies.”
Dominic Johnson ’19, chemical engineering major and current FEA recipient, is exactly the kind of student Baccus hopes to support in the future. As the oldest of five children, the Houston native realized early in life that his family didn’t have the means to send him to college. So in high school, he focused on factors that could help him earn his way to a higher education: good grades, service activities and leadership opportunities.