Committed to Excellence

November 17, 2023


Dorian Martin '06 for the Texas A&M Foundation

Wayne Roberts, Benefactor Magazine (Barry Berenson/Texas A&M University Division of Marketing & Communications)


Thanks to a lead $7.5 million gift from Wayne Roberts ’85, Mays Business School students will soon learn in a new state-of-the-art building.

Wayne Roberts ’85 is passionate about Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School. In addition to appreciating the school’s role in his successful career, the recently retired Abrigo president and CEO is excited about Mays’ commitment to become the nation’s preeminent public business school.

Dedicated to supporting the school’s promising future, Roberts is the lead donor and namesake for a state-of the-art building that is the centerpiece of the new Mays Business Education Complex (BEC) on West Campus. His $7.5 million lead gift is supporting construction of the Wayne Roberts ’85 Building, which will open in 2025. “Wayne’s support was the key that turned our vision into a reality,” said Mays Business School Dean Nate Sharp. “His generous giving has benefited so many aspects of our university, and he is a role model for all of us who have ever been affiliated with Mays Business School.”

The Wayne Roberts ’85 Building’s construction, which expands Mays’ footprint beyond the Wehner Building and Cox Hall, marks a key milestone in the school’s quest for preeminent status.

Mays is already ranked among the Top 10 Best Colleges for Business Majors by Money, and U.S. News & World Report recently ranked Mays No. 18 among undergraduate public business schools in the country.

“This building will have an incredible impact on how we recruit, engage and educate students,” said Sharp. “From the collaboration rooms to the huddle spaces to the learning studios, this state-of-the art facility will be one of the most preeminent buildings at any business school in the country. It will create a vibrant learning environment for our students to develop into the business leaders of the future.”


Serving as the business school’s “front porch,” the Wayne Roberts ’85 building will become an epicenter of activity on Texas A&M’s West Campus. “It’s going to be beautiful from an aesthetic and architectural standpoint,” Roberts said. “As we continue to grow, it will be the first thing people see as they enter campus from the north entrance across from the veterinary school.”

A longtime member of the Dean’s Advisory Council in Mays, Roberts also pointed out that the building’s open and flexible design will meet the educational needs of future Aggie generations. “The way people are learning is changing, and we need to augment fixed and traditional classroom models with more adaptable, open and modern options,” he said. “This building will create more opportunities for social interaction and collaboration.”

To that end, the new building will include a variety of flexible spaces, including a grand atrium, café, and collaboration and huddle spaces. High-energy, flexible learning studios will have the latest technologies, which will allow faculty to create engaging instructional experiences through teaming and hybrid learning environments. The building will also house one of Mays’ premier assets, the Center for Executive Development, furthering Mays’ commitment to lifelong learning.

These aspects will create a welcoming space primed for connection, learning and innovation. “What helps make Mays students unique and successful is their ability to work with others and solve problems,” Roberts said. “This building’s environment will encourage working on case studies and team projects, making presentations, and interacting with former students, speakers and professors. These opportunities will help students be better prepared for today’s work world.”

“In my 36 years of service to Texas A&M University, I have rarely encountered an individual who embodies our Aggie Core Values with the depth and authenticity that Wayne Roberts does,” remarked Dr. Ben Welch, associate dean for executive education. “Wayne’s profound leadership is a testament to the unwavering commitment he has to propelling Mays into preeminence. His philanthropic contribution will undoubtedly leave a lasting legacy, shaping and inspiring generations of future leaders.”


Looking back, Roberts — a first-generation college graduate who put himself through undergraduate and graduate school — never expected to have the level of professional success that he’s enjoyed. “My parents were not highly educated, but they taught us the value of hard work and stressed getting an education. They wanted a better life for us,” he explained. “Attending Texas A&M was one of the best decisions of my life and it helped set the course for the rest of my career.”

Contemplating the current and future generations of Aggies who will eventually use the new building, Roberts appreciates how much both Mays and Texas A&M have developed over the years. “Texas A&M is a preeminent university now. I wonder sometimes if I could get into Mays these days,” he laughingly noted. “But what I know hasn’t changed over the years is our Core Values and what we learned outside of the classroom. We make lifelong friends and become a part of the Aggie Network.”

He also remembers the example set by previous generations. “As I walked around campus 38-plus years ago, names like Zachry, Albritton, Blocker, Rudder and others inspired me. Texas A&M opened up the art of what was possible. Most of these role models came from similar backgrounds. It gave me confidence and hope for the future. And they made me want to be a better Aggie and give back to future Aggies,” he said.

That time opened his eyes to his potential and taught several life lessons. “It doesn’t matter where you came from, Texas A&M is a meritocracy, so it only matters that you share our values and that you get the most out of your God-given abilities,” said Roberts, who also earned an MBA from Texas A&M in 1986. “All I’ve ever tried to do is live with integrity, serve others and not be outworked,” he added.


Those lessons quickly translated into professional triumphs. After starting his career at Accenture (formerly Andersen Consulting),  Roberts worked at Trammell Crow Company, returned to Accenture, and then joined Dell.

Earning a reputation as someone who coached and built people, teams and companies, Roberts joined Rackspace Hosting in 2007. He quickly climbed to the executive team of Rackspace and served in several roles including global head of human resources and senior vice president for fanatical support, where he oversaw customer support and operations.

Another opportunity for advancement came in 2014 when Roberts joined Accruent as chief operating officer. During his tenure, the company more than doubled its revenue as well as its number of employees and customers.

Roberts then moved into the president and CEO role for Banker’s Toolbox in 2016. After acquiring and integrating five other companies, Banker’s Toolbox was rebranded as Abrigo and quickly became a market leader in helping community financial institutions with compliance, portfolio risk, lending and credit, and data solutions. Under his leadership, the company increased its revenue more than 10 times and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) by more than 20 times. Customer counts grew five times and the number of employees by eight times. Abrigo was also recognized among the best places to work in financial technology and in the Austin and Raleigh, North Carolina, areas during every year of his tenure as president and CEO.


Recently retired from Abrigo, Roberts remains actively engaged in helping education and health care related causes he’s passionate about. “I joke that I still work — but I’m working mostly for Texas A&M now,” he said, adding that both his late wife and his daughter are former students. “Any income or wealth that I can help create or funds I can help raise are going to get donated. I have set aside what I need to live, and I’m motivated to give back strategically, particularly to Texas A&M because it has played such an important role in my life.”

Any income or wealth that I can create is going to get donated. I have set aside what I need to live, and I am motivated to give back strategically, particularly to Texas A&M because it has played such an important role in my life.” – Wayne Roberts ’85

Roberts is a prolific donor at Texas A&M. In addition to supporting Mays, Roberts — who recently completed a term as a trustee on the 12th Man Foundation’s Board — provided a lead gift for Aggie Park in memory of his late wife, Shannon Lia Roberts ’86. He was also a lead donor on the recent Centennial Campaign for the Athletic Department, using his naming rights to honor R.C. Slocum on the Bright-Slocum Football Complex.

He has also supported the historic redevelopment of Kyle Field, prior improvements to the Bright Football Complex, and Texas A&M’s basketball, baseball and golf programs. As he has done in other instances, Roberts used his naming rights for basketball to honor someone else with the recent naming of Gary Blair Court.

“Wayne Roberts has been a truly great friend to Texas A&M,” said Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp ’72. “His support of Mays, Aggie Park and Texas A&M Athletics has been invaluable and will leave a permanent impact throughout campus.”

Ultimately, Roberts wants to use his philanthropy to help Texas A&M and Mays continue to foster a culture of excellence. “I want Texas A&M to be great in everything we do. I have this passion for greatness — I’m obsessed with it in everything,” he said. “If Texas A&M is going to compete in sports and the uniform says ‘Texas A&M,’ I want those individuals to have everything they need to win and to get the most out of themselves as players and coaches. I feel the same way academically. For Mays to be the nation’s preeminent public business school, they need the appropriate people, talent, facilities and support services — and I want to help make sure they have what they need.”