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University Advancement

Night aerial view of the Marilyn Davies College of Business building

Donor Stories


Meet Marilyn Davies

Marilyn Davies

Higher education has always been important to Marilyn Davies. The lifelong Houstonian and entrepreneur is aware of the value of college degrees to Houston’s professional community.

She attributes her professional success as CEO of Bailey Banks Seismic L.P.—the proprietor of the Professional Geophysics Inc. Seismic Database and her passion for learning and exploring new disciplines. This passion will now support the achievements of many students at UHD thanks to her $10 million gift naming the Marilyn Davies College of Business. As the first female in Texas to have a college of business named for her, Davies has remained a steadfast supporter of higher education.

She passed on this love of learning to her children—daughter Morgan and son Taylor, who earned a bachelor’s degree in political science at UHD in 2010.

“UHD was there for my son,” she said. “The students here are serious and hardworking. They juggle many responsibilities and they value their education. There’s a need for universities like UHD. My desire is that this gift encourages others to invest in the University of Houston-Downtown. I’m also hopeful that it will encourage UHD students to aspire to even greater heights.”




student getting a high five for his project

As the start of the Fall Semester comes into view, the summer programs that keep UHD buzzing through the summer months draw to a close. In mid-July, Houston Pre-Freshmen Enrichment Program (PREP) concludes its 29th year in operation at UHD.


Throughout this time, the program has offered a 6-week summer STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) learning experience for a highly diverse group of about 300 promising middle- and high- school students from across the city, at no cost to their families, thanks in large part to the generosity of corporate supporters, like Schlumberger.

student getting a high five for his project


Schlumberger, a global leader in the technology field that supports exploration and production in the oil and gas industry, has made gifts to UHD totaling $175,000 in the last five years alone. With this support, Houston PREP has supported the evolution and maintenance of curriculum that is engaging, meaningful and aligned with changes in technology. Schlumberger has a strong commitment to STEM studies for Houston pre-college students and has supported great results through deep interaction with an emerging generation of STEM leaders.

student getting a high five for his project


On July 12, Houston PREP Engineering Day 2018, students enjoyed an afternoon keynote address from Schlumberger’s Director, Global Educational Programming and Community Engagement, Ms. Paula Harris. An accomplished advocate for students, and liaison between industry and education, Ms. Harris has served as a Trustee of Houston ISD, which, under her leadership, was recognized twice by the White House.


With the support of companies like Schlumberger, Houston PREP facilitates enrichment in topics not typically taught in great depth in middle- and high school, increasing the students’ capacity to excel in these fields, and unlocking limitless curiosity to support a passion for computer science and engineering. Because of this commitment, Houston PREP produces great results, with forty-eight percent of Houston PREP graduates enrolling in STEM fields – more than thirty percent greater than the overall student population.

student getting a high five for his project


UHD is grateful for the generosity of partners like Schlumberger and for the efforts of outstanding volunteers, like Paula Harris.




University Relations
Last updated 10/3/2018 8:39 AM