Smith-Hutson Endowed Chair of Banking

Banking Room Image

Save the Dates!

8th Annual Texas Bankers Hall of Fame Gala
April 22, 2021

24th Annual James B. Bexley Bank Executives’ & Directors’ Seminar & Golf Tournament
April 23, 2021

The Smith-Hutson Endowed Chair of Banking was established in 1997 with a two-fold mission. The primary mission was to educate and prepare students to be bankers and the second to provide educational programs for community bankers.

We believe the program speaks for itself. It is the most tenured accredited degree program offering a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in Banking and Financial Institutions. Banks, state, and federal regulatory agencies throughout the state of Texas quickly hire graduates of this program. Additionally, the program places paid interns in banks and regulatory agencies whereby students receive three semester credit hours not to exceed six semester credit hours for total internship credit. Click on the link to the right entitled “BBA Degree in Banking” for more information.

In fall 2005, the banking program accepted the first cohort to the newly established Executive MBA in Banking and Financial Institutions (EMBA). The EMBA is a unique cohort program that offers flexibility to bankers and regulators who have difficulty pursuing a conventional MBA due to scheduling and time constraints. This is a two-year cohort program with a new cohort beginning each fall semester. An annual two-week residency at the main campus is required prior to the start of each fall semester. Outside of these two residencies, students will complete their coursework entirely online. 

All of the banking courses are taught in the high-tech banking room, which has the latest teleconferencing equipment and many other outstanding amenities. (See picture above)

Bankers all over the state are quick to see the value of these unique programs and embrace and support them. Likewise, our two outstanding state banker trade associations have been supportive of the programs.

James B. Bexley

James B. Bexley, Former and Founding Chair
Texas State University System Regents' Professor
Distinguished Professor of Finance
Smith-Hutson Endowed Chair of Banking
College of Business Administration
Sam Houston State University


News From The Smith-Hutson Endowed Chair of Banking

Remembering Dr. Jim Bexley

Oct. 25, 2019
SHSU Media Contact: Emily Binetti

The Bearkat community is mourning the loss of Dr. James “Jim” Bexley.

Passionate about banking and education, Bexley served as the Smith-Hutson Endowed Chair of Banking for 24 years at Sam Houston State University. The community, university and students have greatly benefited from his knowledge, abundant energy and commitment to serving others.  He leaves behind a legacy, not only to the university but also to the banking and finance industry.

Bexley significantly impacted the college through his instrumental work in developing curriculum at SHSU for the first four-year accredited BBA degree in banking and financial institutions in the United States. He also pioneered the curriculum for the university’s Executive MBA degree in banking and financial institutions.

“Dr. Bexley was an iconic figure in the banking sector and his efforts raised the reputation and image of Sam Houston State University in both the business and academic worlds," said Mitchell Muehsam, dean of the College of Business Administration. "Jim’s passion for helping others succeed changed the lives of countless students. Bankers throughout Texas have praised SHSU for the quality of students we have produced. Jim Bexley has created a foundation of success for SHSU’s banking program and we can best honor him by building on that legacy."  

With more than 40 years in senior management positions, Bexley applied his considerable experience and knowledge in the classroom, educating new generations of service-oriented banking professionals. During his tenure, he helped place more than 1,000 students in either internships or career positions in the industry. He was honored for his dedication to education with a Texas State University System Regents’ Professor Award – the highest recognition given to a professor in the university system.


Bexley was also highly involved in SHSU athletics and enjoyed serving and cheering on the Bearkats. As Sam Houston’s faculty athletics representative, he worked tirelessly to promote academic integrity and institutional control of intercollegiate athletics to enhance the student-athlete experience.

“I had the privilege to work with Dr. Bexley for more than 20 years as a friend, colleague and faculty athletic representative. His support of our athletic program has been exemplary. I will always remember and appreciate his counsel and more importantly, his friendship,” said Bobby Williams, SHSU athletic director.

With over 35 years of experience in the banking industry, Bexley received the Lifetime Achievement Award from The Texas Bankers Association. He also served on the Federal Reserve Bank eleventh district Board of Directors. During his tenure, he served on both the executive and audit committees. He used his knowledge and expertise to consult for banks all over the United States as well as the largest private bank in China and a bank in Malawi, Africa.

From comments shared online since his passing, his significant impact on the campus and on his students is apparent:

Dr. Bexley is the reason why I decided to go into Banking and tomorrow I will be celebrating 20 years at my bank. He was an amazing professor and was always very generous with his time.

He has touched and influenced so many lives in the banking and teaching community and we will continue to honor him and his legacy.

He had such an impact on everyone he met and made those around him always feel welcome and appreciated.

Dr. Bexley was my mentor, colleague, friend and the man I most admired. I’ve never known anyone who gave so much to so many and never expected anything in return except the joy that it brought him.

Dr. Bexley - TBA Lifetime AchievenmentBexley Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

The Texas Bankers Association presented its first Lifetime Achievement Award to Dr. Jim Bexley, chair of the Smith-Hutson Endowed Chair of Banking at Sam Houston State University. The award, in recognition of Dr. Bexley’s contributions to the university’s banking program and the industry, was presented at the Texas Bankers Hall of Fame Gala on April 21, 2016. Dr. Bexley was also recognized at TBA’s Annual Convention in May 2016 held in Grapevine.

TBA $250K Donation - PhotoTexas Bankers Association Awards Matching Endowment at Texas Bankers Hall of Fame Gala

Texas Bankers Association presents a $250,000 check for a matching endowment for the Smith-Hutson Endowed Chair of Banking at the College of Business Administration at Sam Houston State University. The award was presented at the Texas Bankers Hall of Fame Gala on April 21, 2016. The presentation included, left to right, TBA President Eric Sandberg; Dr. James B. Bexley, Chair, Smith-Hutson Endowed Chair of Banking; TBA Member Relations Officer Donny Palmer; Dr. Dana Hoyt, President; TBA Treasurer Jay Dreibelbis; Frank Holmes, Vice President, University Advancement; and Dr. Mitchell Muehsam, Dean, College of Business Administration.