Texas A&M-Corpus Christi Foundation • Annual Report 2002 

David Perry & Rene HaasLeadership Profile of
David Perry & Rene Haas

Even two of the most well-respected lawyers in Corpus Christi, Rene Haas and David Perry, can learn a thing or two over donuts, especially when they are having brunch with some of the University’s biggest supporters, Rene’s parents, Paul and Mary Haas.

“On Saturday mornings we share letters from a Haas Scholar or a recipient of money from one of the many University programs,” said Rene. “They thank Mom and Dad and say, ‘You are the reason I am what I am.’ It doesn’t get any better than that – what more can you ask for?”

Perry and Haas have combined their love of law, and each other, to successfully partner in their law firm Perry & Haas, L.L.P. They have been married for 17 years and even see eye-to-eye when it comes to philanthropic endeavors.

“Rene’s parents are tremendous role models, and what they have done with the Paul and Mary Haas Foundation exemplifies how people ought to handle their affairs,” said Perry. “We are by no means in the same league, but we are striving to follow the path they have set for us.”

Following in someone else’s footsteps through second generation charitable contributions isn’t easy, but Haas and Perry are in unity when it comes to their commitment to do so. They have already been honored for their initiative and support of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi on the Wall of Recognition in the Legacy Room in the University Center.

Other contributions to the community have come as the couple has shared their passion for safety and giving with their clients. “Our clients often tell us, ‘We don’t want to see what happened to us, happen to other people,’” said Haas. We cannot be the only ones passionate to get something changed. It must be our clients.”

In a case settlement in 2002. that combination came together to make a real impact on the community. The end result was the Wright Memorial Gift, a $1 million contribution to the University, $400,000 of which was Perry and Haas’s waived fee for the case. The gift from Judy Wright, honoring her husband Lonnie who died in a refinery explosion, funded the Control Systems Engineering Technology Laboratory. It also established the Wright Family Scholarship Fund.

The first major donation from Perry and Haas in the 90’s came about due to fortuitous circumstances. Haas was about to celebrate her 50th birthday when Perry was approached by longtime friend of the University, John Chapman, during a capital campaign. “What better way to celebrate Rene’s connection with the University and her birthday than combining the two for a surprise present,” said Perry.

This unique “gift” created the annual Rene Haas Student Leader Scholarship.

“I want to know for years thereafter whether a recipient was happy with their education,” said Haas. “What they are doing with it, how they are progressing and whether or nor their whole family benefited.” Haas added that while people don’t live forever they can start a wave of support for education that combines with larger waves, which in turn, take on a life of their own.

Perry grew up in Austin where the University of Texas had a daily impact on the lives of the community. “The communities that are able to sustain economic growth are those that have invested in their education system,” said Perry. “A&M-Corpus Christi will provide the economic wave of the future.”

He believes that A&M-Corpus Christi has clearly become a beacon for growth and educational and cultural support for the entire community.

“From one end of town to the other the University is penetrating people’s lives,” said Perry. “That is an intangible benefit no one can quantify but it is a real and important benefit that I believe needs all of our support.”