McNair Scholar benefactors and friends of the university
Janice and Robert C. McNair have been champions of philanthropy for more than 50 years, giving generously to many deserving causes while making education and medical research the cornerstones of their philanthropic giving. They are founders of the Robert and Janice McNair Foundation, the Houston Texans Foundation and the Robert and Janice McNair Education Foundation in Forest City, N.C.
Robert McNair, the founder, chairman and chief executive officer of the Houston Texans, is best known in the business community as the founder of Cogen Technologies, which was the largest privately owned cogeneration company in the world when it was sold in 1999. He serves as chairman of The McNair Group and owns Palmetto Partners Ltd. and RCM Financial Services L.P., private investment entities. He is a graduate of the University of South Carolina, where he served as student body president. McNair was named Entrepreneur of the Decade by the Houston Technology Center and was awarded the James A. Baker III Prize for Excellence in Leadership by the Baker Institute at Rice University.
Janice McNair, a graduate of Columbia College, shares her husband’s vision and passion for helping the underserved. She was honored by Child Advocates at their 2009 Angels of Hope luncheon and by the Girl Scouts at their 2005 Urban Campout Gala. Together, the McNairs have established major McNair Scholars Programs at the University of South Carolina, Columbia College, Baylor College of Medicine, M.D. Anderson, Menninger Clinic, Texas Children’s Hospital and Texas Heart Institute.