Roger D. Lawrence's name is synonymous with the highly acclaimed banking program at Sam Houston State University.
Lawrence received a Bachelor of Science degree in sociology with a minor in business from Sam Houston State in 1969, and later graduated with a Master of Business Administration degree from Texas A&M University.
He is a huge supporter of the banking program at SHSU, especially the internships. Over two-thirds of his staff have graduated from SHSU, and he has been instrumental in fundraising as another means of support. The Smith-Hutson Endowed Chair of Banking at the university boasts one of the finest technological classrooms to be found anywhere and it is appropriately named the Roger D. Lawrence Banking Center.
Lawrence's career in banking for over 40 years has spanned positions from clerk to chairman. In addition to his experience in suburban banks, he has almost 15 years of experience in larger holding company banks.
He retired from Citizens Bank as chairman of the board/president/CEO at the end of 2001 after 15 years of service. During his time at Citizens Bank, he took a small rural bank of approximately $20 million in assets to over $125 million in assets in three locations.
Today he serves as chairman and CEO of Texas Community Bank - a bank he chartered in 2002 along with three other individuals - in The Woodlands. The bank began operations on Sept. 10, 2002, and has since grown into a $210 million institution. He also formed TCB Holding Company in 2005.
In numerous letters of support for his nomination as Distinguished Alumni Award recipient, Lawrence's devotion and commitment to Sam Houston Sate University was echoed.
"As educators, we are always hopeful that our graduates will realize the importance of supporting the university," said R. Dean Lewis, dean of the College of Business Administration at SHSU.
"He has not only supported the university with his money, but he has also spoken to business classes on numerous occasions. Even more importantly, he has been an enabler for many young men and women to attend Sam Houston State University who might not have otherwise been able to get a college degree," Lewis said. "He has also generously paid for many of his employees to pursue their MBAs."
"As a past alumni board member, I am familiar with the requirements and high standards that must be satisfied to achieve this very special (Distinguished Alumni) recognition," said the Judge Jerry A. Sandel of Huntsville. "When you consider his achievements in the business world, particularly the banking industry, and his generous support and willing service to Sam Houston State University, you will agree that he has clearly met these standards and is rightfully deserving of this award."
"Roger is called on to speak at banking conferences all over the United States and has guest taught at Sam Houston on many occasions," said Walt Pinegar. "His business acumen has earned him accolades from both private and federal colleagues."
"Roger is a unique individual who has been successful in everything that he has done. More importantly, he has used the wealth he has obtained to help others," said James Bexley, chair of the banking program at Sam Houston State.
"When we wanted to start a banking intern program, he agreed to underwrite and hire two interns. He also gave us the final funding we needed to build the banking center in the College of Business Administration," Bexley said.
"He has distinguished himself in both a personal and professional manner, and he is recognized in banking circles as one of the brightest and most innovative people in his profession," Bexley said.
Lawrence is married to the former Angela Allen who is also a Sam Houston State graduate.