Steve Raben ’63, Distinguished Southwestern Service
It is Raben’s vision and constant challenge to all Southwestern alumni to do better, to be better, and to lead that causes his fellow alumni to follow his example. One of his Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity brothers says that Raben’s leadership did not come from being deemed perennial leader of the Pikes or from being a lonely crusader of hard work and effort. That’s not Raben’s style. Rather, people follow him for his thoughtful leadership, as well as for his ability to engage individuals in the right situations and provide resources that help accomplish goals. And he does all of it out of his love for Southwestern.
Known to be a man of great faith and principle, Raben is active in his church, community and country, having served as a highly decorated officer in the U.S. Army Special Forces during the Vietnam conflict. And, for more than 50 years, he has served Southwestern in more ways than one can count.
Raben has been a member of both Southwestern’s Board of Trustees and Board of Visitors, President of The Association of Southwestern University Alumni, a member of the Thinking Ahead Campaign Cabinet, a volunteer in many capacities for both the University and for the Alpha Omicron chapter of Pi Kappa Alpha, and a regular host of University and alumni luncheons in Houston.
One of his fellow alumni says the way Raben often advocates for things that are important but not always glamorous reminds him of former University President Durwood Fleming, who could, “charm a donor into funding some hidden plumbing project or other preventative maintenance.”
Raben is known for his unceasing efforts as a member of the Alumni Association and the Board of Trustees, but may be best known for his unwavering dedication and advocacy for Southwestern’s Pi Kappa Alpha chapter. He personally spearheaded a fundraising campaign that not only raised a million dollars to upgrade the Pike house to current health and safety standards, but that also re-engaged many Southwestern and Pike alumni who had not been active for many years.
A former President of The Association of Southwestern University Alumni shares that Raben has demonstrated his value as a loyal Southwestern alumnus, as manifested in his personal leadership, financial support, time, creative ideas and ambassadorial gifts before and during his term as Alumni Council President.
Students and young alumni know upon meeting Raben that he is a man of great character and integrity, with a passion for Southwestern like no other. Young alumni look up to him and seek his feedback and guidance on a myriad of topics and issues. One such alumnus says Raben’s advice and direction have played a pivotal role in his personal and professional growth. In fact, he looks to Raben, a successful businessman across multiple industries, for advice prior to making any major business decision.
When Raben talks, people listen because it is obvious that he knows what he is talking about. Having received a degree from Southwestern in business and economics, and with more than 40 years of military and business experience, Raben is now based in Houston with Stonegate Production Company as Managing Director of Raben Consulting Associates, an executive search and management consulting firm.
Raben has inspired a new generation of Southwestern alumni to be givers and leaders; no one sets the bar higher when it comes to giving back. His devotion to Southwestern goes far beyond putting a bumper sticker on his car or making an annual gift. He does not limit his giving to just financial contributions or volunteerism, although he does give generously in both of those areas. From personally recruiting prospective students to mentoring recent graduates, one young alumnus says Raben “does it all and more.” This is what sets him apart.
For consistently giving back to Southwestern and making a difference in the lives of those around him, for embodying the ideals and values of the University, and for “bleeding black and gold,” The Association of Southwestern University Alumni proudly presented Steve Raben with the 2014 Distinguished Southwestern Service Award.