Texas State to award Emmett, Miriam McCoy honorary doctorates

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
University News Service
November 15, 2007

Emmett and Miriam McCoy

The Texas State University System Board of Regents has voted to allow Texas State University-San Marcos to present Emmett and Miriam McCoy with honorary doctoral degrees, making the San Marcos couple only the seventh and eighth individuals to be so honored by the university.

The regents approved the measure at their regular meeting Nov. 15. The presentation will be made at 2 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14, in Strahan Coliseum at a commencement ceremony for graduates of the McCoy College of Business Administration and the College of Science

“Emmett and Miriam McCoy have proven to be true friends of Texas State University many times over,” said Texas State President Denise M. Trauth. “Their lives are shining examples of the virtues of hard work, character and integrity. The university is proud to be associated with the McCoy name, and proud to be able to honor them in this way.”

In 2006, the McCoys received the university’s President ’s Excellence Award, the highest award the president of Texas State can give. In 2004, the McCoys made the largest philanthropic gift to Texas State in the university’s history--$20 million to enhance programs in business administration. In return, the university named its College of Business Administration the Emmett and Miriam McCoy College of Business Administration. Dedicated in 2006, Emmett and Miriam McCoy Hall on campus is also named in their honor and houses the McCoy College .

Emmett McCoy is the retired chairman and chief executive officer of McCoy’s Building Supply Centers. Founded in 1923, McCoy’s Building Supply Centers is a retail building supply company providing a complete array of building materials and service to its customer base of those who are “born to build.” In 1972, McCoy’s headquarters were moved to San Marcos and since that time revenues have grown from $14 million to more than $565 million.  Today there are 85 retail locations and two manufacturing facilities located in five states and more than 2,000 employees company-wide. 

In 1939, Emmett McCoy met Miriam Swanson over the Thanksgiving holiday in upstate New York . The couple was married in 1946 after Emmett’s discharge from the Army following World War II, where he served in the Pacific theater. From the start, the McCoys were business partners as well as family, with Miriam bringing her management skills to the team and providing a sounding board for Emmett’s entrepreneurial ideas. The McCoys have been married for 61 years and have four children.

The McCoys will join President Lyndon B. Johnson, member of the class of 1930 at Texas State; Lady Bird Johnson, former First Lady of the United States; Gilbert M. Grosvenor, chairman of the board of the National Geographic Society; George Strait, Distinguished Alumni and member of the Country Music Hall of Fame; and Distinguished Alumni and Texas State benefactors Roy F. and Joann Cole Mitte as recipients of honorary doctorates from Texas State.