Former Delhi High School graduate honored
Delhi native Sam Wyly recently launched his newly published book 1,000 Dollars & an Idea at his alma mater, Louisiana Tech University. University faculty and students and others from throughout north Louisiana attended the event on October 1 during which Tech President Dan Reneau facilitated a discussion with Wyly that included a number of audience questions.
His book is a fascinating story of an amazing business genius; in it, he imparts memorable life lessons from a man ahead of the pack and ahead of his time. “My work is to create companies and build them,” he says.
Fortune Magazine has called him “one of the most, if not the most, important entrepreneurs of the century. Wyly chronicles his story of risking $1,000 of his savings to found the first “computer utility” company and going on to unparalleled business success.
Wyly shared his inspirational story and also discussed the economic crisis in our country during the Tech event. Born in Lake Providence, Sam and his brother and partner in many business ventures, Charles Wyly, were reared in Delhi and are graduates of Delhi High School.
Sam made special reference to the outstanding education he received at DHS and Louisiana Tech, and he spoke of the great influence of legendary Coach Raymond Richards on his life. A 155 lb. nose guard, Wyly said Coach Richards taught him to use his brain and his speed to counteract his lack of size.
He also cited the lessons of teamwork that were learned as he and his teammates set goal after goal, eventually winning the State Championship in football. A chapter in the book is devoted to the rivalry between Delhi High School and Tallulah High School in football in the 50’s.
Prior to the event, Wyly was presented with a letter of commendation and memorabilia from Delhi High School and Richland Parish Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Cathy Stockton, by School Board Member Billy Calvert and Delhi High School Librarian, Mary A. McIntyre.
Sam Wyly has been the cornerstone of success for internationally respected companies such as University Computing, Sterling Software, Sterling Commerce, Earth Resources, Gulf Insurance, Bonanza Steakhouses, Michaels Stores, Maverick Capital, and Ranger Capital. He is one of Forbes Magazine’s 1,000 wealthiest people in the world, and currently is heavily involved in Green Mountain Energy, the nation’s leading provider of cleaner commercial and residential electricity and carbon offsets. He lives in Dallas, Texas.
Sam’s late parents, Charles and Flora Wyly, were longtime publishers of the Delhi Dispatch, having moved to Delhi from Lake Providence where Mr. Wyly was engaged in cotton farming. The family was also in the insurance business and had the Western Union telegraph agency in Delhi for a number of years. Mrs. Wyly also headed the Flora Evans School of Dance in the area after being trained in New York.
Sam and Charles Wyly are among Louisiana Tech’s greatest benefactors; their contributions led to the landmark Wyly Tower of Learning on the Tech campus and include the Wyly Athletic Center that houses a special display of Delhi High School athletes who played for Tech, the F.Jay Taylor Eminent Scholar Chair in Journalism, and numerous professorships and scholarships.