• Red McCombs

Red McCombs, the larger than life Texas businessman, philanthropist and sports enthusiast turns 90 this month. His wife of 66 years, Charline, also celebrates an October birthday, turning 89. The McCombs are generous supporters of education, arts, culture, health and human services, and both Charline and Red are Southwestern University alumni.

We are thrilled to honor the McCombs with a joint birthday celebration at the Campus Center that bears their name. The program will celebrate Charline and Red’s birthdays and pay tribute to all they have done for Southwestern and higher education.

There will be a student showcase on the concourse with remarks from Red McCombs and President Edward Burger, followed by a receiving line with the  McCombs and Dr. Burger. Birthday cake will be served in Bishops Lounge.


A Colorful Life

Red McCombs is perhaps best known for the family of auto dealerships in San Antonio that bear his name. He co-founded Clear Channel Communications (now iHeart Communications) and previously owned the Minnesota Vikings, Denver Nuggets and San Antonio Spurs. He also brought Formula One racing to Austin.

Red attended Southwestern University in the 1940s on a full football scholarship, where he played both lineman and receiver. Legend has it that when he arrived on campus he carried everything he owned in a single suitcase. He served in the Army from 1946 to 1947 and then attended business and law school at the University of Texas. He and Charline married in 1950.

Over the years Red has generously supported Southwestern with both his time and resources. He served as Chair of the Board of Trustees for eight years in the 1990s and gave a generous donation when SU reintroduced football in 2013. His $1 million donation gave Southwestern new intramural fields.

A $6 million donation by the McCombs funded the Red & Charline McCombs Campus Center. It was the largest alumni gift in Southwestern’s history, and the Campus Center is also home to Red’s collection of artifacts from early Texas history. Another gift established the Charline Hamblin McCombs Residential Center in 2001, which provides apartment-style housing for students who have attained a certain number of credit hours.

We are grateful for all the McCombs have done for Southwestern and higher education, and look forward to honoring them in person. We invite all students, faculty, staff and community members to join us for the party! The first 500 guests in attendance receive FREE t-shirt.


Charline & Red Birthday Celebration Details

Date: Thursday, October 12, 2017

Time: Noon - 12:30pm

Location: Red and Charline McCombs Campus Center at Southwestern University

Dress: Casual Southwestern attire

Free and open to the public.

For additional information contact the Office of Marketing and Communications at 512.863.1771 or sucommunictions@southwestern.edu.