As a part of its series in celebration of Black History Month, the Razorback Athletic Department is saluting Trailblazers from the African-American community who have attended the University of Arkansas. Several of the honorees in our series were also selected as Silas Hunt Legacy Award recipients recently.
In 1969, when Mr. Gerald B. Alley came to the College of Business Administration (now the Sam M. Walton College of Business), he was one of two blacks enrolled in the College. Although the other black student transferred to another college, Alley had the tenacity to remain a student in the College of Business.
Alley is the founder and CEO of Con-Real Inc., the largest black-owned construction and real estate firm in Texas and the southwest region. Alley founded Con-Real in 1979 with one project, one desk, and one assistant. The company now has offices in Dallas, Fort Worth, Houston, Austin, and Oakland, Calif., and performs real estate and construction services for a wide array of Fortune 500 corporations nationwide.
Alley credits his success to the legacy of his parents, Troy and Gladys Alley. In 1934, his father founded one of the first black businesses in Pine Bluff — The Alley Service Station. The service station was located across from what is now the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff and remained in business until the 1980s. His mother taught at Philander Smith College and served in many community organizations. His parents were a great inspiration to him. Together, they challenged him to get the right education and to be an entrepreneur.
He earned an MBA in finance and real estate at Southern Methodist University. He was then hired as a consultant for a financial firm assisting small businesses, and later became a financial analyst. Subsequently, Alley began Construction Services Inc. to assist contractors in business development. Troy Alley Jr., also an alumnus of the U of A (BSEE ’69), joined his brother, at which time they changed the name to Con-Real to reflect their construction and real estate industries expertise. The Alley brothers have given back to the University of Arkansas at both Fayetteville and Pine Bluff by organizing the Troy and Gladys Alley Entrepreneurial Endowment Scholarship fund.
Alley has been selected for many honors and accolades. He serves on the Walton College of Business Dean’s Executive Advisory Board, SMU Cox School of Business Executive Board, and the board of directors for Southwest Securities FSB. He is also a mentor for young black men through the Journey into Manhood program.
Gerald Alley describes his greatest joy as spending time with his wife, Dr. Candace Alley, and their three children, Gina, Stephanie, and Byron.
The University of Arkansas’ Office of University Relations provided the content of today’s salute. For more information on the Silas Hunt Legacy Award Event, please jump here.