Owner, King Ranch
Tio Kleberg, Texas Tech ’69, is the owner of King Ranch in Kingsville, Texas. For over 150 years, King Ranch has been on the forefront of innovation in cattle and horse breeding and large-scale range management techniques. In addition to its large-scale ranching and farming operations, King Ranch is active in industries as diverse as publishing, retail and eco-tourism.
Tio credits Phi Delt as the place he learned to be a leader and first aspired to make a difference. In 2012, Tio and Janell made Phi Delt history by giving $1 million in support of the Emerging Leaders Institute. In gratitude for their generosity, ELI was renamed the Kleberg Emerging Leaders Institute in 2012.
The excerpt below is from an interview with Tio focusing on why he and Janell decided to make their gift to the Phi Delta Theta Foundation.
PASSION, PRIDE, AND POTENTIAL: WHY TIO AND JANELL KLEBERG HAVE EMERGED AS THE LEADERS IN GIVING TO THE PHI DELTA THETA FOUNDATION.
Why did you decide to make this financial gift to Phi Delta Theta?
“For me, it’s about passion — passion for helping young people become leaders and for pushing the limits to see what can be achieved.
I was the first to give $1 million, but I didn’t really know that at the time Janell and I made the decision to do so. We were compelled first and foremost by our commitment to helping young people find a way to know they have the capacity to lead and set themselves apart from the rest of the crowd. We have supported the Outward Bound program at our sons’ high school, which focuses on leadership development, and wanted to bring a similar opportunity to Phi Delts at the university level.”
What message do you have for your Phi Delt brothers about giving?
“Step up and do it. We all think local. This is an opportunity to help the entire fraternity in a magnitude not seen before.
We must be the leaders that stand apart from all others. To achieve that, we must all take bold steps.
Why are you proud to be a Phi?
“You never know what you can do until you push yourself and find your limits. I found that confidence as a young person through the common bond with my brothers. The relationships I made in those years of college are the best friends I have today. We have a common bond forever. And that connection is immediate when I meet any Phi Delt, whether they are Texas Epsilon or not.
I’m also very proud that PDT is being a leader and making bold moves to define the standard for Fraternal life. Making the decision to address the #1 problem on college campuses by implementing alcohol-free housing is just one example of Phi Delt’s ability to lead.
But mostly, I am very proud when I see young people striving to become the best version of themselves, as the line goes, and I want to support them any way I can.”