Distinguished Alumni 2011: Tom Kowalski

Biomedical innovator found path
through politics, starting with ASG

A photo of Tom Kowalski.

Tom Kowalski

As president and CEO for the last 16 years, Tom Kowalski has built Texas Healthcare and Bioscience Institute (THBI) in Austin into the leading advocate of biomedical science, biotechnology, agriculture and medical device innovation in the state and one of the leading voices of that industry in the nation.

Kowalski received a bachelor of arts degree with a major in political science in 1978. He remembers visiting San Marcos with his family. “I fell in love with the campus at a very early age,” Kowalski says. “I always knew that I wanted to go to come to school here.”

While a student, he was president of the Associated Student Government and active in Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity. He met Susie, his wife of 34 years, on campus, and they married his senior year. The Kowalskis now have a son, Thomas, and a daughter, Heather, who is married to Adam Bossen.

Before THBI, Kowalski served as a senior staff member to Texas Gov. Bill Clements, U.S. Sen. John Tower and U.S. Rep. Jim Collins. He was appointed by Clements to The Texas State University System Board of Regents in 1989 and served as chairman in 1995.

Kowalski has remained active at Texas State. He serves on the McCoy College of Business Administration Advisory Board and is a frequent guest speaker. He currently serves as chair of Texas State’s Development Foundation and is a member of the President’s Council.

The university will recognize five new Distinguished Alumni at Homecoming this week. With the newest honorees, Texas State has now presented its most prestigious award to 169 graduates since the first was given to Sen. Lyndon B. Johnson in 1959.

One response to “Distinguished Alumni 2011: Tom Kowalski

  1. Tom is a true gentleman and scholar. I met Tom the first week of classes in the Fall of 1974. We have remained as close as brothers since that time. He is an outstanding father, a great husband and true role model to the students of this fine university. I cannot think of a person more deserving of this honor.

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