Tribpedia: Paul Foster

Paul Foster is chairman and CEO of Western Refining based in El Paso and is the city's only billionaire.

Foster was appointed in November 2007 to the University of Texas System Board of Regents and previously served on the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.

Foster's prolific charitable giving in El Paso has resulted in his name gracing the nameplates of its largest educational institutions and landmark downtown buildings.

Foster gave $50 million to Texas Tech University for the medical school in El Paso, the first four-year medical school on the border. He became the single largest donor in Texas Tech history with the gift, and the school was renamed after him: Paul L. Foster School of Medicine at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at El Paso. The first class of four-year medical students entered the university in 2009.

Foster gave $3 million to the University of Texas at El Paso for its newest basketball facility, which is named for both him and follow donors Jeff and Sharon Stevens: Foster Stevens Basketball Center. It opened in April 2009.

Foster has also purchased landmark buildings in downtown El Paso and has plans to restore the area to make it an attraction for locals and visitors, according to reports by the El Paso Times.

Foster grew up in Lovington, N.M., and graduated from Baylor University in 1979. According to a 2007 El Paso Times profile, Foster, like his father, worked in New Mexico oil fields before founding Western Refining in 1997. In 2002, Foster purchased Chevron's oil refinery in El Paso, and by 2006 Western Refining was the fourth-largest publicly traded independent oil refiner in the country.

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