Portrait photo of a man

Sam L. Susser is an established businessman, generous philanthropist, and the fifth generation in his family to be born in Corpus Christi, Texas. Mr. Susser and his family recently relocated to Dallas, where he joined Southwestern Medical Foundation’s Board of Trustees.

Sam L. Susser is an established businessman, generous philanthropist, and the fifth generation in his family to be born in Corpus Christi, Texas. His family came to Texas in the late 1850s and settled in Corpus Christi, where they started a career in fuel distribution and sustained the business for almost 90 years.

Mr. Susser had been working and living in New York for a few years when the economic recession happened in the 1980s. His father and uncle asked if he would move back to Texas to help deal with some challenges with family business investments. Since then, the family has led several successful investments in other businesses, including Affiliated Bank, which was recently renamed Susser Bank. With more than 190 employees, Susser Bank will be based in the Dallas area with a team in Arlington and will serve the entire state of Texas. The transition represents an exciting new chapter in the lives of the Susser family as they relocate to Dallas.

Though he only recently made Dallas his new home, Mr. Susser commuted here for several years in connection with his work at the bank and his many ties to the city’s people, business, and medical community. He is especially familiar with UT Southwestern Medical Center and began serving on the Southwestern Medical Foundation Board of Trustees in 2019.

“We are grateful to Sam and Catherine Susser for their friendship, support, and significant investments in the health of citizens across Texas. Their generosity and involvement in the leadership of our community will, without doubt, add tremendous perspective and depth to our efforts.”

Kathleen M. Gibson, President and CEO of Southwestern Medical Foundation 

Beginning involvement with Southwestern Medical Foundation was a natural progression for Mr. Susser. He has known many close friends who served on the Foundation Board over the years, including Ronald G. Steinhart, Robert B. Rowling, and Kathleen Gibson, current President and CEO, whom he met during her time at Bank of America.


Deep Ties

For the Sussers, loyalty to the University of Texas System runs in the family. Sam L. Susser has cousins who graduated from UT Southwestern Medical School, as well as his primary care physician from Corpus Christi.

His father and Joe C. Thompson, Jr. were roommates at The University of Texas at Austin, and the Dallas-based Thompson family remain dear friends. The Thomspon family has been heavily involved with UT Southwestern for years, and Jere W. Thomspon Jr., the nephew of Joe Thompson, currently serves on the Executive Committee of Southwestern Medical Foundation.

We want to give back what we can, and the areas that we are particularly passionate about are education and health care. UT Southwestern is at the apex of that.

Sam L. Susser, Southwestern Medical Foundation Trustee 

Mr. Susser and his family have given generously to Southwestern Medical Foundation in support of a variety of causes. In 2020, Mr. Susser made a gift toward construction of the Brain Inpatient Tower at William P. Clements Jr. University Hospital. He has also made generous gifts in support of The Cary Council. The Cary Council is a new generation of leadership in our community that is dedicated to increasing awareness of the missions of Southwestern Medical Foundation and UT Southwestern among young professionals and community leaders.

“Texas can’t be successful without attracting the most talented, most exceptional leaders in the world to our state. So, we feel that we ought to be investing at the top end in institutions like UT Southwestern, as well as doing all that we can to ensure that our public policy and our business climate allows people that have a hard time making ends meet move up the economic ladder,” explained Mr. Susser.

“We are all impacted by health care issues, and when great institutions like UT Southwestern can create breakthroughs, it can ripple across and affect everybody.”


Connecting Business and Philanthropy

Above all, Mr. Susser believes in the power of giving back to his community. He credits his dad for instilling in him the commitment and dedication needed to not only manage a successful business but also leveraging that success by investing in the greater good of others. His dad worked at the 7-Eleven Corporation in the past, when it was called The Southland Corporation. Growing up, Sam Susser watched as 7-Eleven grew and developed under the Thompsons’ leadership. The company was organized in a way that enabled it to use its success to give back in profound ways. One of the causes it was most well-known for contributing to was research and treatment for muscular dystrophy.

“I would credit my dad for developing the strategy that I’ve had since I moved back to Texas in 1988 for trying to be community-minded. I believe it’s good for business, it’s good for our team members, and it’s certainly good for our state.”

Sam L. Susser, Southwestern Medical Foundation Trustee

Mr. Susser was also influenced by the generosity of friends like the Rowlings and the Thompson family, whose philanthropic work has inspired him and guided many of his decisions and aspirations for supporting his community. 

Today, Mr. Susser sees the impact of investing in medical progress in action, and it continues to inspire him and give him hope for a healthier tomorrow.

“I am absolutely blown away at the effectiveness and the speed at which these vaccines have been developed. It gives me great hope that we can not only leverage that technology but learn from the experience. When we do commit to something fully as a society and put all that money against an objective, we can really create medical breakthroughs.”

Sam L. Susser, Southwestern Medical Foundation Trustee