Arts / Museums

Houston’s Show-Stopping Rooftop Garden Gets a Tweak That Makes it Even More Sweet

Impact of Largest Corporate Campaign Gift to MFAH Ever Lives On

BY // 06.18.19
photography Wilf Thorne

What’s in a name? As Shakespeare noted, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Thus, the rooftop of the Glassell School of Art, formerly known as the BBVA Compass Roof Garden and recently rechristened as the BBVA Roof Garden, remains as intriguing as it was when inaugurated in May. And a party was in order to note the updated nomenclature.

In April, the global financial institution, operating the fourth largest bank in Houston, announced a rebranding initiative, one that would better reflect the Spanish bank’s global presence. As BBVA Chief Executive Onur Genç explained in a press release at the time, “We are unifying our name, alongside a change in the BBVA logo, to better convey our increasingly digital and global reality.” BBVA does business in more than 30 countries.

So on to the party. A quartet from the Houston Symphony provided the classical soundtrack for the sunset event while Carlos Torres Vila, BBVA group executive chairman, and Javier Rodríguez Soler, president and CEO of BBVA USA, welcomed more than 200 guests. The VIP invitation list included Museum of Fine Arts, Houston trustees, donors, bank officials and friends.

Representing the MFAH were chairman of the board and Life Trustee Rich Kinder and wife Nancy Kinder, board chair emerita and Life Trustee Cornelia Long and husband Meredith Long, chairman of the finance committee and Life Trustee Joe Hudson and wife Lynne, and chairman of the Glassell School of Art board Brad Bucher and wife Leslie. 

The rooftop garden is named in honor of BBVA in recognition of its $8 million contribution to the Susan and Fayez S. Sarofim Campus expansion. It is the largest corporate campaign gift in the history of MFAH and is also the financial institution’s largest charitable gift in Houston.

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