Ray Brimble, CGB Benefactor and Proud Texan
Last fall I announced it was my sincere honor to sponsor the Brimble Global Impact Initiative at the Center for Global Business in the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin. This initiative provides seed funding for a broader and more diverse effort to enhance global business education for students at UT Austin.
Why am I making this investment? Many reasons, but two stand out to me immediately.
International Business Has Been My Life’s Work
First, I am many things. I am a proud Texan born and raised right here in the Lone Star State and I am an orange-blooded Longhorn, through and through. But I am more than that — I am the son of an immigrant. Bi-cultural. Almost as interested in baklava as I am barbeque (but not quite).
I am a beneficiary of the incredibly good fortune of having been born right here, right at this moment in time.
Simply put, it’s been my life’s work and privilege to be involved in international business around the world. It’s taken me to thrilling places across the globe, allowed me to work with fascinating people, been an excellent way to make a good living, and has encouraged me to take an expanded view of mankind (as well as my own small corner of the world and obligation to it, therein).
The study of international business can therefore be an excellent way to enhance not only a business degree but any degree. After all, in today’s world, most things are international.
Texas Business Is Global Business
Another important reason I helped launch the Brimble Global Impact Initiative is that I feel that Texas has a unique place in the world at this very moment in time — one which may not yet be fully realized.
Texas has such a unique and storied history of its own that we don’t always think about its place in the world of commerce. In fact, Texas is already a giant global economic and a cultural superstar. Texas is:
- The #1 exporting state in the US, equaling about 21.5% of all US exports in 2021 and the #2 importing state in the US, with a $313 billion dollar-value in 2021.
- Economically massive — if Texas were a country, it would be the world’s 9th largest economy, one that is larger than that of Russia ($1.7 trillion for Texas vs. $1.28 trillion for Russia).
- Home to the largest seaport/port of entry (the port of Houston is #1 in the US in terms of foreign tonnage, and 15th in the world) and two of the largest airports in the world (IAH ranks 5th largest in the US, and 9th largest in the world, and DFW is the 2nd largest in the US and 2nd largest in the world).
- The 4th highest oil producer in the world — 8 million barrels per day (that’s just behind Russia and Saudi Arabia).
- Ranked 4th in the US for agricultural production, with almost 250,000 farms employing one out of every seven Texans. Agricultural exports create much of this demand, of which international business is an essential component.
- Ranked #1 in semiconductor manufacturing in the US for the 2022 calendar year, with the the largest-ever direct foreign investment in the US (when Samsung announced it would invest another $17 billion in new semiconductor manufacturing in Texas).
- #3 in immigrants across the US, with a legal immigrant population of approximately 5,000,000 citizens — 17% of the entire population of the state (a larger immigrant population than Florida and New York).
- The 40th largest land mass in the world (the UK is only a third of its size) with one of the most diverse international communities in the world.
As such, we have a unique worldview by virtue of our fellow culturally-diverse Texans.
Texas business is global business. Our continued prosperity depends on understanding the rest of the world and engaging with it in positive ways. I know that many students at UT Austin wish to do just that: be the change they wish to see in the world.
That’s why I’m pleased to be working with my colleagues at UT Austin and all around the world to provide the resources, leadership, and vision to help make this happen. This is just the start. After all, what starts here, changes the world!