The University of Houston is mourning the loss of Michael J. “Mike” Cemo, a distinguished alumnus, accomplished businessman and dedicated philanthropist whose passion for his alma mater reshaped the University for future generations.
“We are deeply saddened by the passing of Mike Cemo, whose commitment to excellence in his professional endeavors and dedication to the Cougar community left an indelible mark on our University,” said UH System Chancellor Renu Khator. “In honoring Mike’s legacy, we not only celebrate his achievements but the enduring positive impact he made as well. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends during this difficult time.”
Cemo earned his Bachelor of Science in Economics from UH in 1968 and went on to a successful career in retail marketing and corporate finance. Believing it was important that Houston have a top-tier business school, he helped lay the groundwork for what would become the C.T. Bauer College of Business and served there as a valued member of the Dean’s Advisory Board. For those efforts, he was appointed to the UH System Board of Regents in 2001 by then-Gov. Rick Perry, where he served for six years, including two as vice chairman.
To honor his generous gifts and service, the University broke ground on Michael J. Cemo Hall in 2008, a state-of-the-art, 34,000-square-foot facility with classrooms, a lecture hall and an auditorium that would be the new home of the Rockwell Career Center, further strengthening Bauer College’s presence as one of the leading business schools in the nation. A decade later, he received an honorary doctorate from UH for his professional success, his contributions to the community and his support of the University.
A memorial service will be held at the A.D. Bruce Chapel on the UH campus on Thursday, Jan. 11 at 1:00 p.m. There will be a reception to follow at the Cougar Club inside TDECU Stadium. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to UH Athletics or the Bauer College of Business.