Temple, TX

This billionaire in Temple is giving away millions

Ash Jurberg

Over the holiday period, I have been writing articles focusing on leaders, business people, and entrepreneurs who have been giving back to the community. During the festive season, people love to read positive and uplifting stories.

Today I wanted to write about a man who has given back to organizations in Temple and Waco and across Texas - Drayton McLane Junior

Let's take a quick look at his story.

The Temple billionaire

Drayton McLane Jr was born in Cameron, Texas, in 1936.

He earned an undergraduate degree from Baylor University and then an MBA from Michigan State University.

After completing his studies, Drayton Junior joined the family business in 1959. McLane Company was opened in 1894 by his grandfather. Under the leadership of Drayton Junior, he grew the business internationally, averaging an annual sales growth of 30% during his thirty-year reign as president and CEO.

In 1991, Drayton Junior sold the business to Walmart in exchange for $50 million and 10.4 million shares of Walmart.

He invested much of these proceeds into acquiring the Houston Astros Major League Baseball franchise, a team he owned from 1993 until 2011 when he sold it for $680 million.

Drayton Junior has a current net worth of $2.9 billion. And he is giving some of it away.


"When you live your life, it’s not going to be how much money you made or how many degrees you got or how many awards you received, it’s how you lived your life." Drayton McLane Jr.

Drayton Junior is now "involved in numerous philanthropic efforts intended to help build the futures of others, as well as to provide some support for those in need."

He has made several very large donations, including a record-breaking gift to Baylor in 2012, believed to be over $200 million. The actual amount was not disclosed, but Baylor acknowledged it was "the largest capital gift in university history."

Drayton Junior also made a $4 million donation to his other alma mater, Michigan State University.

In 2014, Drayton and his family contributed a large sum to help transform the former "Baptist Building" into the new home for Baylor’s Louise Herrington School of Nursing.

“Our family has been very committed to Baylor University because of its Christian commitment to higher education and also to health care, and this is why we were interested in helping with a gift that will begin the building renovation for Baylor’s outstanding Louise Herrington School of Nursing." Drayton McLane Junior

McLane and his family are longtime supporters of the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, and he’s sat on the boards of Baylor College of Medicine, Texas A&M’s Bush School of Government and Public Service, and other non-profit groups. In 2013 he received the Mirabeau B. Lamar Medal for his contributions to education.

I love to try to help. I call it finding the future. One of the arts of leadership is to see not only where you are today and what you need to do immediately, but what needs to happen in the long term.” Drayton McLane Junior

He also encourages others to donate. For example, in December 2019, to help raise funds for the Salvation Army of Bell County, Drayton Junior promised to match funds on every dollar donated up to $200,000.

Drayton Junior also supports the Military Child Education Coalition and McLane Children’s Baylor Scott and White in Temple. The mission of this organization is "to ensure inclusive, quality educational opportunities for all military and veteran-connected children affected by mobility, transition, and family separation."

In addition to his donations, Drayton Junior serves on the boards of Baylor Scott & White Healthcare, the George H. W. Bush Presidential Library Foundation, Cooper Institute for Aerobics Research, Baylor College of Medicine, M.D. Anderson University Cancer Foundation, and then Heart of Texas Defense Alliance.

Your thoughts

What do you think of the philanthropic work of Drayton McLane Junior? What other organizations in Temple, Waco and Bell County would you like to see him support?

Please leave your comments below and share this article with others so they can join the conversation.

Comments / 65

Published by

Writing on business and local events. Follow me for the latest updates.

San Antonio, TX

More from Ash Jurberg

Comments / 0