September 29, 2023

A Love for Numbers

By: Chelsea Davis-Bibb, Ed.D.

John Scroggins was born in Shrevport, Louisiana, and grew up in a single-parent home due to his parents getting a divorce at a young age. His mother was a hardworking woman who “did a great job” in raising him. John expressed, “She was fantastic.”

Scroggins lived in Louisianna until high school, and then moved to Houston with his family, where he graduated from Phyllis Wheatley High School. After high school, he attended Texas Southern University and received his bachelor’s degree in science. He then furthered his education and received his MBA from Texas Southern University and University of Houston with a concentration in Banking and Finance. Scroggins is also a graduate of the Southwestern Graduate School of Banking at SMU.

Although his undergraduate degree is in science, growing up, Scroggins “always loved numbers.” He carried his passion for numbers as an adult, and his love for numbers increased drastically when recruiters from different banks visited Texas Southern University for career day. “The recruiters were looking for diversity in banking back then, and I took an interest in it, and that’s how I got started.” Scroggins mentioned that some of the conversations that we have today regarding equity, inclusion, and diversity, were some of the things he discussed with the recruiters back then.

According to Scroggins, the MBA program was just beginning to be a popular degree, and it still is today, “so I thought, why not try it, and I did.” Texas Southern University had a program where students could use some of their credits from any undergraduate degree, take the GMAT, and depending on the score, you could be accepted into the program. “I scored very high on that,” Scroggins expressed. He was excited to be a part of this program as he “loves the fascination of banking and finance from afar.” This was just the beginning for Scroggins as he now has had a 40-year career in banking.

His journey first started at First City National Bank where he served there for ten years. He then worked for Wells Fargo for 14 years, and then worked for 12 years at Unity National Bank where he served as president and CEO. He currently works at Allegiance Bank as Senior Vice President of Commercial Lending and Community Development Lending. He has served in that position for the last four years. According to Scroggins, Allegiance Bank is the only African American bank to this day.

When discussing his legacy, Scroggins mentioned his legacy is the Future Bankers Leadership Program that he founded at Texas Southern University. The idea came to him from a conversation he had with some executives that were working in Wells Fargo. They said, “we would love to have more diversity and inclusion in our leadership program, but they didn’t have a pool of talent to pool from.” Scroggins said, “That may be true, but I am going to do something about it.” He started gathering information and found that there was not a banking program at any HBCU program anywhere. He went to discuss his idea with the dean at the business school of Texas Southern University and said, “we need a banking program.” His dean agreed, and the program has been up and running since August 2021 and has had great success. “That’s my legacy. That’s my baby. I saw an opportunity for us that we too belong, and we too are students of finance and banking and be successful in the industry. I want that to be my legacy long after I am gone.”

Scroggins currently serves as a member of the Jesse H. Jones School of Business Advisory Council at TSU and formerly served on the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas Community Depository Institutions Advisory Council (CDIAC).

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