To Mike Tyson, it’s simple. If you’ve succeeded in life because of your education, then you owe more than gratitude to your alma mater.
"First, I have the ability to give," he says, "and second, I’m very proud of the University of Texas at Austin. It’s a world-class institution, and I want to make sure it remains that way."
As a member of the Chancellor’s Council, Mr. Tyson also strongly supports the UT System. "The resources that go to the chancellor’s fund," he says, "give the chancellor the discretion and ability to get topnotch people — and to keep them."
Mr. Tyson and his wife Judy attend as many of the three annual Chancellor’s Council Executive Committee meetings as they can. Besides being members of the Chancellor’s Council, the two are Ashbel Smith associates and 1881 Society fellows. Judy Tyson graduated from Texas Christian University, but her husband’s UT ties run deep: His mother was the first sweetheart of UT Austin and his father played on the university’s baseball team. Mr. Tyson earned a BBA from UT Austin before he graduated from the Stonier Graduate School of Banking at Rutgers.
After a long and successful career with Chase Bank of Texas, Mr. Tyson is retired, but devotes much of his time to civic and charitable activities. The Tysons are the parents of an adult son and daughter and the proud grandparents of five.
For all of this, they realize how fortunate they have been. When their daughter was 16, she was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and treated successfully at UT M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.
"She’s now 42 and she teaches in Brazoria," Mrs. Tyson says.
"Cancer is such an insidious disease," Mr. Tyson says. "That’s why we’ve tried to be supportive of M.D. Anderson, too."