Alum Gives $1 Million for Plan II Study Abroad
Austin Ligon, and his wife, Samornmitr "Pan" Lamsam, have given the Plan II Honors Program $1 million to support Plan II students studying abroad.
Posted: April 2, 2007
Mr. Ligon is the founder and first president and chief executive officer of CarMax, Inc. Ms. Lamsam is a former merchant banker and independent financial consultant. Their gift establishes The Ligon-Lamsam International Study Fund and will be used over the next five years exclusively to support Plan II students studying abroad.
Ligon graduated from Plan II in 1973 and earned his Master's degree in economics from UT in 1978. He was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and is a member of the Tejas Club. During his time at the University, Ligon studied abroad in Peru.
"It (studying abroad) had a transformational impact on my life," Ligon said in an interview with Plan II student Geoff Abraham, which will appear in the next issue of the Plan II student newspaper, the Undecided. "It opened my eyes to the fact that my perspective on the world was just one tiny little portion of the ways in which the world could be viewed."
Ligon believes international experience is also beneficial in today's job market.
"I was just a kid from West Texas," Ligon said, "but the experience in Peru gave me a chance to work for a worldwide company."
After leaving UT, Mr. Ligon attended the Yale School of Management and worked for Boston Consulting Group in London. He also worked as an independent financial consultant in Bangkok.
In addition to his work at CarMax, Ligon has served as vice-president of Circuit City and Marriott. CarMax, Inc. is the nation's largest retailer of used cars, and a Fortune 500 company. Austin retired from CarMax in the summer of 2006. He and Pan have three children.
For more information regarding the Ligon-Lamsam International Study Fund, contact Michael McFarlin, development specialist, Plan II Honors Program, 512-471-1442.