Ross Moody Delivers Commencement Address

Businessman, UT alumnus and Advisory Council member speaks May 22

Ross Moody

The Moody College of Communication commencement ceremony takes place Friday, May 22 and features a commencement address by Ross Moody, alumnus of The University of Texas at Austin and trustee of the Moody Foundation.

Ross R. Moody is the president and chief operating officer of National Western Life Insurance Company, an Austin-based, publicly traded life insurance company. He has served as president and COO since 1992 and as member of the company’s board of directors since 1981.

The company is ranked by the Austin Business Journal as the sixth largest public company in Austin joining leading central Texas employers such as Whole Foods and Freescale. In addition to his corporate responsibilities, Moody is also a trustee of The Moody Foundation, a 73-year-old charitable foundation with headquarters in Galveston, Texas.

On Oct. 21, 2013, the Moody Foundation announced a $50 million commitment to establish the Moody College of Communication at The University of Texas at Austin.

“One of the best degrees to earn at any university is in the field of communication,” Moody said. “Because graduates will use the communication skills they’ve learned in every job, whether its business, entertainment, law, health care or social work to name a few.  Having the ability to communicate well is essential and will set Moody College graduates apart from others and get them going places.”

Mr. Moody’s forbearers established The Moody Foundation “to benefit in perpetuity present and future generations of Texans.” This directive is upheld by subsequent generations of the Moody family in its stewardship of the now $1 billion-plus asset organization, of which grant-making interests include children’s issues, social services, and arts and education, with grants restricted wholly within Texas.  

Mr. Moody also serves on the board of The Contemporary Austin and on the national leadership board of The University of Texas at Austin’s Blanton Museum, as well as the advisory board of UT Austin’s Moody College of Communication. 

He is a Galveston native whose interests include traveling, exercise and spending time at his Hill Country ranch. He has two children:  Elle, a graduate of Rice University and current graduate student at New York University, and Jack, an undergraduate at UT Austin.

Moody graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor’s of business administration in finance in 1984. He subsequently earned a master’s of business administration from Harvard University in 1989.

The commencement ceremony takes place at 3:20 p.m. in the Frank Erwin Center, 1701 Red River St. The ceremonies will also be webcast live

Marc Speir
Senior Content Producer