Q&A with William J. Ware ’01

William J. Ware '01

A graduate of the Meadows School of the Arts, William J. Ware ’01 currently serves as the president of Amarillo National Bank. Ware is among the fifth generation of his family to manage the business, which was founded by his great-great-grandfather. The chair-elect for SMU’s 21st Century Council, Ware is an active University donor and community member. He has contributed to the ongoing drive for the Garry Weber End Zone Complex and helps create lasting memories for the student members of Ware Commons, the student residence named for his father, SMU Trustee Richard Ware ’68, and family. William Ware earned his Bachelor of Arts in public affairs and corporate communications with a minor in history.

You have a lot of personal and familial ties to the University. Could you speak to what inspires you to continue to be involved with SMU?

SMU is a family affair for the Wares. My brother, sister and I are all second- generation alumni, and we have several
other Mustang alumni in our family. The University empowered me to grow as a person and a professional. As an alumnus, my connection has grown even stronger. Networking with students at the Meadows School and welcoming new residents to Ware Commons makes me proud to take part in the University’s ongoing growth.

You have played a number of important roles at SMU. What are some of your proudest accomplishments on the Hilltop?

As a student, I was a proud member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and enjoyed promoting cross-Greek relationships through the Interfraternity Council. The lessons I learned about the importance of a shared mission to leadership and service have carried over to my current work with the 21st Century Council and the SMU-in-Taos Executive Board. It is rewarding to see how my experiences can create a positive impact for current and future students.

In addition to your service, you recently made a principal gift toward the Garry Weber End Zone Complex at Ford Stadium. What inspired you to give to this particular project?

I believe that failure informs, motivation inspires and teamwork supports. The Garry Weber End Zone Complex has the potential to offer substantial motivation and support to SMU student-athletes while also elevating the fan experience at our football games. The new complex will be an inspiring addition to Ford Stadium. I hope others who love SMU football and the impact athletics has on the lives of all our student-athletes will consider making a gift during the second phase of fundraising for the project, especially now that we’ve broken ground!

Why do you think athletics play such a big role in the collegiate experience?

For starters, this is football country! Athletics create a sense of community and fellowship, especially for students who are new to SMU and still finding where they fit on campus. We all have different passions, backgrounds and futures, but when we gather together to cheer on our team, we are a community with a common purpose. It is inspiring to witness, and I love being a part of making that possible. When donors support our teams or give to the Weber End Zone Complex, they make a crucial impact in the lives of our student-athletes and the vibrancy of our entire community.