Texas State Heroes, Emmett and Miriam McCoy, posthumously honored with Texas Higher Education Distinguished Service Award


Jayme Blaschke | January 24, 2024

kelly damphousse and brian mccoy
President Damphousse presents the Distinguished Service Award to Brian McCoy

The late Emmett and Miriam McCoy, longtime benefactors of Texas State University (TXST) for whom the McCoy College of Business is named, have been posthumously honored with the 2024 Texas Higher Education Distinguished Service Award for their extraordinary contributions and service to higher education in the state.

Brian McCoy, son of Emmett and Miriam, accepted the award on their behalf Jan. 24 in Austin from TXST President Kelly Damphousse. Distinguished Service Award recipients are selected by the Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas (ICUT), the Council of Public University Presidents and Chancellors (CPUPC), and the Texas Association of Community Colleges (TACC). The award has been presented 46 times in the past 48 years.

brian mccoy
Brian McCoy, son of Emmett and Miriam, shares remarks at the Distinguished Service Award ceremony

“Our family is so honored by this recognition of our parents, Emmett and Miriam McCoy,” Brian McCoy said. “While their philanthropy included many domains, they were so excited to be able to support young scholars and deserving faculty at the university level.”

In recent years the McCoy family’s giving has focused on TXST, Texas Tech University and Sul Ross State University. 

“It is impossible to imagine what Texas State University – and truly, the entire state of Texas – would be like today without the vision, leadership and generosity of Emmett and Miriam McCoy,” Damphousse said. “Their dedication to building futures and changing lives has left an indelible mark on the landscape of higher education in Texas. On behalf of our TXST community, I am forever grateful for the contributions Emmett and Miriam provided to the university, and for the impact their generosity continues to have on our students and faculty.”

emmett and miriam mccoy
Emmett & Miriam McCoy received honorary doctoral degrees in 2007.

In 2004, the McCoys made the largest single donation in TXST history: $20 million to support the college of business. Through their generosity, the McCoy College of Business Foundation was established to invest and manage donations to the college. Emmett and Miriam McCoy Hall, which opened in 2006, was named for them. The university presented Emmett and Miriam with honorary doctorates in 2007 and named them TXST Heroes, a title bestowed on donors who’ve given $1 million or more to the universiy.

The McCoy family’s generosity continues to positively impact TXST today. The McCoy College of Business has repeatedly been recognized as one of the top business schools in the country. Nearly 5,000 students are currently enrolled in the college, many of whom finish in top places in international competitions and engaging in innovative research with faculty. More than 40,000 alumni are leading successful business careers around the world. In 2023, the McCoy College of Business opened a new, state-of-the-art Student Success Center, the first of its kind at TXST.

About ICUT

ICUT, a nonprofit association, is the voice for Texas’ fully accredited private colleges and universities. For over 50 years, it has fulfilled its mission of helping policymakers recognize the importance and value of higher education’s independent sector by successfully articulating the sector’s needs and aspirations.


Since 1983, CPUPC has met to advance Texas’ public senior colleges and universities as they pursue their respective goals of academic excellence, student career preparation, innovative research and community service. The nonprofit council comprises chief executive officers of the Texas public general academic universities, system offices, health-related institutions, and the three two-year state colleges in the Houston area.

About TACC

The Texas Association of Community Colleges (TACC) is an organization representing Texas public community college member districts, community college presidents and chancellors. For over seven decades, the Texas Association of Community Colleges (TACC) has focused on their primary mission of improving statewide educational opportunities in community colleges through advocacy and policy change. 

For more information, contact University Communications:

Jayme Blaschke, 512-245-2555

Sandy Pantlik, 512-245-2922