Tammy Murphy: Following her dreams and beyond
Every day, Tammy Murphy encourages her children and the team members who work in Victoria’s Chick-fil-A restaurants to follow their dreams.
“I always make it a point to emphasize that if they have a dream that they want to follow, it’s so important to keep pursuing it and find a way to make it a reality,” the University of Houston-Victoria alumna said. “If you’re willing to put in the work, there are others in the community who will be willing to offer resources to help. But a big part of doing the work is getting the education you need to get you there.”
Now, Murphy’s commitment to supporting higher education in her community has led to a new step in her life. On Monday, Murphy was named the newest member of the UH System Board of Regents by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott. She is the first regent who is an alumnus of UHV. Her service period will last for six years.
“I can’t think of anyone better suited for the position of regent than Tammy Murphy,” UHV President Bob Glenn said. “She is a native of the area and has spent her life dedicated to service. She is a consummate leader both through her businesses and her involvement in the community and as a UHV alumna. I am sure her talents, knowledge and experience will be of great service to the community, UHV and the UH System in this new role.”
Murphy and her husband, David Murphy, are both alumni of UHV. She received a Bachelor of Science in business administration and management in 1995. When she was 20 years old, while attending Victoria College, Murphy opened the Ice Cream Depot in the Victoria Mall. She eventually sold the successful business and the couple became Chick-fil-A franchise owners in 2009. Today, they own the franchise for three Chick-fil-A locations around Victoria, and also consult to a licensed Chick-fil-A location inside UHV University Commons.
As franchise owners, the Murphys have worked to incorporate Chick-fil-A’s philosophy of caring for others into their lives and business. Many of the company’s employees are students, and the Murphys built a new home office in downtown Victoria that offers free internet access and a quiet place for employees to study. They even have a leader dedicated solely to their team members’ education, from high school graduation to college education and scholarships.
Giving back is an important part of the Murphys’ philosophy, Tammy Murphy said. The couple has spoken at UHV alumni events, donated toward projects such as bringing Innovation Collective to Victoria, and even given toward scholarships for students at both VC and UHV. In 2021, the couple received the UHV Community Partnership Award during the 2020-2021 University of Houston-Victoria President’s Annual Report & Excellence Awards. They also received the UHV Distinguished Alumni Award in 2010 and were recently selected as members of the 50 faces honored as part of UHV’s 50-year anniversary.
“Receiving awards and recognition from my alma mater is always so meaningful and special,” Murphy said. “But the fact is that David and I don’t do this work for the awards. We are passionate about helping others, and we want to continue to do that as much as possible.”
Now, as she prepares to move into a new role as a leader for the entire UH System, she hopes to continue to have a positive impact. In her new role, she hopes she can contribute to UHV’s success by showing that the university is a vital, contributing part of the system. She also hopes to help the university to attract even more outstanding faculty members to Victoria. More than anything, she plans to be a team player and be a sounding board and voice for UHV.
“I was so honored when the chancellor approached me about joining the Board of Regents,” she said. “There are almost no words to describe what I was feeling. I’ve learned so much from a variety of mentors over the years, and now, wherever my strengths and experience will take me, I hope to be beneficial to the board and the community.”
The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 50 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.