AUSTIN, Texas — Governor Greg Abbott has appointed an East Texas native to the University of Texas System Board of Regents.
On Thursday, Gov. Abbott announced 63-year-old Kelcy Warren, a graduate of White Oak High School, would serve on the Board for a term set to expire on February 1, 2025, pending Senate confirmation.
Warren, chairman and CEO of Energy Transfer Partners, has a net worth of $4.4 billion, according to Forbes, making him the 136th richest person in the United States.
In January Warren donated $500,000 to Kilgore College to help improve the school's information technology infrastructure.
The self-made billionaire co-founded the pipeline company Energy Transfer with Texas Rangers co-owner Ray C. Davis in 1995.
In March 2017, following an executive order by President Donald Trump, Energy Transfer Partners finished building the 1,172-mile Dakota Access Pipeline. The company says the pipeline can transport up to 500,000 barrels of oil a day.
A music fan, Warren also produces albums for singer-songwriters at his Austin-based music studio, Music Road Records.
Since 2007, he has also hosted the Cherokee Music Festival which is an annual non-profit event to raise money for children's charities.
To date, the festival has raised $2,000,0000 for groups such as:
- Cherokee Home for Children
- Children's Medical Center of Dallas
- Dallas Children's Advocacy Center
- Grant a Starr
- Heroes for Children
- Hill Country Children's Advocacy Center
- Shriner's Hospital for Children
- St. Jude Children's Research Center
- Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children
- Williamson County Children's Advocacy Center
The Kelcy Warren Foundation supports the Caddo Lake Institute, an organization with the mission of protecting the ecological, cultural and economic integrity of Caddo Lake, its associated wetlands and watershed.
In 2012, he also donated $10 million to the city of Dallas to build the five-acre Kyle Warren Park, which is named after his only son.
When he was a teenager, Warren would spend his summers as a welding assistant and floor sweeper at the Sun Oil warehouse in East Texas. After graduating from White Oak High School, he attended Kilgore College before receiving his bachelor's degree in Civil Engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington in 1978.
Another East Texan, former Tyler mayor and state senator Kevin Eltife also serves on the Board. He was named the Board's chairman in December 2018
Additionally, Gov. Abbott appointed the following individuals to the Board:
- Dr. Nolan Perez - Harlingen
- Christina Melton Crain - Dallas
- Jodie Lee Jiles - Houston