Barry Davis and six more leaders who have influenced the future of energy and TCU’s prominent role at the forefront of the industry were named to the first TCU Legends in Energy during a moving dinner this spring.
August 03, 2023
By Jennifer Floyd Engel
Barry Davis appeared to be at a loss for words as he stepped to the mic after being inducted into the inaugural TCU Legends in Energy class alongside six prestigious honorees.
Davis ’84 is the founder of EnLink, one of the most successful energy companies in the country, a TCU alumnus and a member of the TCU Board of Trustees. So he is no stranger to big crowds like the one gathered for the Legends in Energy dinner in April. He had not planned to speak, though, and had no prepared statement.
Davis spoke straight from the heart about being a young man from a small town and how a baseball scholarship opened a door to TCU that otherwise would have been closed. He talked about how that young man studied finance, met his wife, and found his purpose.
“TCU changed my life,” he said. “It made everything that came next possible.”
The Legends in Energy was a celebration of the institute’s inaugural legends class – Davis, Wil VanLoh, Mary Ralph Lowe and Trevor Rees-Jones. There were speeches from TCU President Daniel Pullin and Ralph Lowe Energy Institute’s Executive Director Ann Bluntzer. Current Horned Frog students presented the honorees with their awards. Mini-documentaries played on each of them.
The institute also honored campus legends, Chancellor Victor J. Boschini and TCU Neeley School of Business adjunct professor Tom Bates, for championing the university’s commitment to producing energy leaders – then and now.
As TCU prepares to kick off another school year and celebrate the final months of the Sesquicentennial, Davis’ words have even greater weight, according to Bluntzer. Today’s Horned Frogs are tomorrow’s legends. They will make their names in the arts, business, medicine and, energy. The ties between the university and the energy industry are many, and strong. Students, faculty and staff walk into buildings that bear their names and students come to TCU on scholarships they helped fund.
Bluntzer wanted to honor the legacy of those legends by telling their stories. This was the impetus behind the TCU Legends in Energy recognition.
“We bear the name of an original wildcatter. They were the original entrepreneurs and from them came the Barnett Shale, the Spraberry Trend, the Permian Basin,” Bluntzer said. “They are legends in the energy space, icons of industry and an important part of the TCU community."
The energy industry is in transition and needs legends, stubborn idealists not afraid to run through no and take big swings, said Bluntzer. Much like Davis, the next generation of energy leaders may find what is possible starts here at TCU.