San Antonio Academy has graduated leaders from San Antonio, South Texas and beyond since 1886. SAA alumni include astronauts, Congressmen, attorneys, doctors, engineers, business professionals - and even a Flying Tiger! Learn about the men who have provided support through leadership, contributions and history to their alma mater.
Sam Barshop – Founder and former CEO, La Quinta Inns, Inc.
The late Sam Barshop was a 1943 graduate of San Antonio Academy.
Sam was the founder and former CEO of La Quinta Inns Inc. and was the Chairman of Barshop & Oles, a company that has played a prominent role in high-profile real estate development in Central Texas during the last two decades.
Barshop served on the University of Texas System Board of Regents, as well as the development boards of the University of Texas at Austin, UTSA, and the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, where he also established the Sam and Ann Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies. He also was a member of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Governor's Task Force on Higher Education.
Barshop was a former Director of the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce, Boys Clubs of America, St. Luke's Lutheran Hospital and National Bancshares Corporation of Texas. He served on the Board of Directors of Southwest Airlines, Republic Bank Corp. and the San Antonio Economic Development Foundation. He received numerous accolades, including: recipient of the Americas Lodging Investment Summit Lifetime Achievement Award; and the San Antonio Technology Accelerator Initiative (SATAI) Technology Hero Award; and was an inductee in both the San Antonio and the Texas Philanthropy Hall of Fame.
James T. Willerson – President, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Dr. James T. Willerson is a 1953 graduate of San Antonio Academy. In 2001, Dr. Willerson, a nationally renowned cardiologist, was named President of the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston. Dr. Willerson has been involved in various positions over the years with the National American Heart Association and the NIH Cardiovascular and Renal Study Section. He has received the Award of Merit from the American Heart Association. Dr. Willerson has served as the Editor of Circulation, the major publication of the American Heart Association, since 1993 and has edited or co-edited nineteen textbooks and published over 700 scientific articles.
Tom Frost –Chairman Emeritus, Frost Bank
The late Tom Frost was a 1941 graduate of San Antonio Academy. Tom was the Chairman Emeritus of Frost National Bank. He received many awards, including: the People of Vision Award from the Texas Society to Prevent Blindness, the Humanitarian Award from Centro del Barrio, the South Texan of the Year Award from the Texas Association Business and Chambers of Commerce, the Order of the Aztec Eagle Award from the San Antonio-Mexico Friendship Council, the Benefactor of the 2000 Community Award from the City of San Antonio, the Boysville's Arthur O'Krent Humanitarian Award and the Colonel W. T. Bondurant, Sr. Humanitarian Award. He was also a long-time member of SAA's Advisory Council.
Lamar Smith – United States Congressman
Congressman Lamar Smith, a 1961 graduate of San Antonio Academy, has represented the residents of the 21st Congressional District since 1987. The respected magazine, National Journal, has named Congressman Smith one of the 100 most influential people in Washington, D.C. In 2002, the Business Software Alliance honored Congressman Smith with its Cyber Champion Award for his leadership on high-tech issues. Congressman Smith serves as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Courts, the Internet and Intellectual Property of the House Judiciary Committee.
In 2003, Lamar was selected by the Speaker of the House to be a member of the new Select Committee on Homeland Security. In 2004, Representative Smith was elected to the House Republican Steering Committee to represent Republican Members of Congress from Texas. The 29-member House Steering committee appoints members and chairmen of committees.
In 2008, Lamar Smith was selected by his colleagues to lead House Republicans on the Judiciary Committee. As the Ranking Republican Member, he served as a spokesman for the party and helps shape committee policy. Representative Smith has been Chairman of three of the Judiciary Committee’s five subcommittees: Intellectual Property, Crime, and Immigration.
David Lee “Tex” Hill – WWII Flying Tiger
The late Brigadier General David Lee “Tex” Hill was a 1928 graduate of San Antonio Academy. Tex was a member of the famous Flying Tigers during WWII, where he fought in Burma, China and Thailand and was credited with 12-1/4 aerial victories. The American Volunteer Group was made famous in the 1942 film, Flying Tigers, in which Tex was portrayed by none other than John Wayne.
David Scott – Apollo Astronaut
David Scott is a 1945 graduate of San Antonio Academy. Scott was selected as an astronaut in October 1963. In 1966, he and command pilot Neil Armstrong were launched into space on the Gemini 8 mission, where they performed the first successful docking of two vehicles in space. Scott went on to serve as command module pilot for Apollo 9, was designated backup spacecraft commander for Apollo 12 and was spacecraft commander of Apollo 15.
Christopher “Kit” Goldsbury – CEO, Silver Ventures
Christopher “Kit” Goldsbury is a 1957 graduate of San Antonio Academy. Prior to founding Silver Ventures, Goldsbury was Chairman/CEO of Pace Foods, Inc., which was the producer of Pace Picante Sauce. Under his leadership, sales soared and the work force grew to over 475 associates. Goldsbury sold Pace Foods, Inc. to Campbell Soup Company in January 1995. Through the Goldsbury Foundation, Kit has been involved in numerous local organizations including City Year San Antonio and San Fernando Cathedral and has funded the construction of the five-story David Christopher Goldsbury Center for Children and Families at Christus Santa Rosa Children’s Hospital.