David C. Baggett ’81 uses one phrase to sum up his rich life, loving family and rewarding career: “It’s good being me.”
James Benjamin says it’s good being Baggett’s friend. In fact, Baggett and Benjamin, accounting department head at Mays Business School, have an ongoing debate about who has had the greatest influence on the other.
Benjamin calls Baggett “one of the brightest but most unique students I have encountered in my 37 years at Texas A&M (as evidenced by graduating in accounting in two years and being the two-time intramural ping pong champion).”
Baggett’s fast track to graduation with honors at age 20 quickly led to his first job, with Deloitte & Touche. He was the youngest partner in the history of that firm when he was promoted to partner at the age of 29.
Beginning very shortly after graduation, Benjamin says, Baggett became a “dedicated supporter for and advocate of our program … He was one of the youngest members appointed to our Accounting Advisory Council and he is now the longest-serving member of that group.”
He says Baggett has consistently been available to help with the development of the programs – advising on curriculum and program strategies, mentoring students and recruiting graduates, and assisting with fund-raising. “He began contributing financially to our program immediately after graduation, and the amount of his contributions have increased proportionally with his success in business.”
Baggett’s most recent gift to Texas A&M of $500,000 went to create the Denise and David C. Baggett ’81 Professional Development Endowment in support of the Business Honors Program.
Baggett has always seemed more interested in the impact of his support on the accounting program, Mays and Texas A&M than in recognition for his gifts, Benjamin says. “I am gratified but not surprised with his latest commitment to the Mays Honors Program,” Benjamin says. “David has also been a great personal friend and advisor, and I know that he has been a significant, positive influence in my life.”
In return, Baggett says Benjamin has had a profound impact on his professional and personal life – “and my wallet, if you count all my golf bet losses, and has led our accounting department to its current status as a nationally recognized top-tier program.” He adds, “Denise and I are blessed to be able to give something back to Mays Business School, and trust that our recent endowment will be meaningful to students in the Business Honors Program for many years to come.”
Mays dean Jerry Strawser says David and Denise Baggett have benefitted many with their generosity. “Through their most recent commitment to support our students professional development through study abroad and participation in other extracurricular opportunities, they will open many doors for our students and truly influence their lives,” he says.
Strawser adds, “In addition to his ongoing financial support and other fundraising efforts, Baggett has supported Mays in many other ways including hiring numerous Mays graduates, mentoring MBA students and using Mays Center for Executive Development for the training of his professionals.”
David and Denise are involved in several charitable endeavors, including the establishment of the David and Denise Baggett Teaching Award for Accounting Professors in Mays. Baggett serves on the Dean’s Development Council and the Accounting Department Advisory Council, and he is on the Champions Council of the 12th Man Foundation.
In 2005, Baggett founded Opportune LLP, an energy consulting firm that assists clients with corporate finance, complex financial reporting, process and technology, strategy and organization, dispute resolution, enterprise risk, tax and outsourcing. Opportune serves clients throughout North America and Europe through offices in Houston, Denver and London. The company ranked fourth in the 2011 Aggie 100, which recognizes the fastest growing Aggie-owned or Aggie-led businesses in the world.
Baggett also was a Mays Outstanding Alumni Award honoree for 2011.
Baggett lives in the Houston area and serves on the board of directors of NorthStar Energy and Marlin Midstream. He previously served on the boards of AMPAM, Genesis Energy, Encore Energy Partners and ERCOT, the independent system operator for electrical markets in Texas. He is actively involved in the several trade organizations, including the IPAA and the Turnaround Management Association.