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Campus Achievements

Thanks to gifts from former students, friends and supporters, Aggie students have increased scholarship opportunities, new buildings and spaces in which to learn, and innovative academic programs that will better prepare them for their futures.

Similarly, Texas A&M faculty members have benefited from enhanced research collaborations, interdisciplinary initiatives and department-level support. Follow the path below to discover some of the biggest changes that took place in Texas A&M colleges and divisions due to private philanthropy.

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  • College of Agriculture and Life Sciences


  • College of Architecture


  • The Association of Former Students


  • The Bush School of Government & Public Service


  • Corps of Cadets


  • College of Dentistry


  • College of Education and Human Development


  • College of Engineering


  • The George & Barbara Bush Foundation


  • College of Geosciences


  • The Hagler Institute for Advanced Study


  • School of Law


  • College of Liberal Arts


  • University Libraries


  • Mays Business School


  • College of Medicine


  • College of Nursing


  • College of Pharmacy


  • School of Public Health


  • College of Science


  • Division of Student Affairs


  • Texas A&M Foundation


  • Texas A&M University at Galveston


  • Texas A&M University Press


  • College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences


  • 12th Man Foundation


College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

The Gardens at Texas A&M University

The Gardens at Texas A&M University is a planned transformation of 27 acres on West Campus into a public teaching garden. Intended to expand Texas A&M’s research and outreach by building a living classroom for educational and recreational experiences, The Gardens provide an enriching space for Aggies and visitors to enjoy year-round. Thanks to the generosity of Amy ’84 and Tim Leach ’82, phase I of the project, called the Leach Teaching Gardens, opened in 2018. These first 7 acres feature 21 themed sections, an outdoor classroom, event lawn, demonstration area, and a climate-controlled pavilion used for events and educational classes. Designs for the remaining 20 acres are underway and will include rose gardens, a family/children’s garden, educational and event venues, and a recreation of The Grove, an outdoor amphitheater originally located on main campus for concerts, movies and events.

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44 Farms International Beef Cattle Academy

In recognition of the importance of beef cattle and Texas A&M University’s vast expertise in this area, the Department of Animal Science recently established the 44 Farms International Beef Cattle Academy—a flagship program that will certify industry professionals, producers and researchers on the latest information in beef cattle production, quality and safety. Founded in March 2018, the academy received an important boost in fall 2019 when Bob McClaren, president and chief executive officer of 44 Farms, provided a lead gift to be the program’s sole sponsor. The academy, which enrolled its first class of international participants in fall 2018, offers online courses that cover several topics, including cattle nutrition, breeding and genetics, forage production and utilization, and herd health management. Each class is taught by at least two Texas A&M faculty members who are leaders in their subject areas.

Norman Borlaug Endowed Research Scholars Program

A generous donation from Cactus Feeders Inc., a company dedicated to food production efficiency research, established the Norman Borlaug Endowed Research Scholars Program. The program will help recruit and retain top students from all over the world to conduct agricultural research at Texas A&M. Scholars will glean from the exemplary legacy of Norman Borlaug and be challenged to identify agricultural innovations that can actively protect the environment, improve human health, grow the economy and feed the world. Cactus Feeders provided a $1 million matching fund to encourage other donors to support the students and vision of the program through scholarships and fellowships.

College of Architecture

A New Leadership Initiative

During the campaign, former students and other leaders from the College of Architecture’s Development Advisory Council successfully created and funded a new leadership initiative and associated minor degree. James Thompson ’68 funded an endowed professorship, while Tom Owens ’73 funded multiple scholarships in support of the new degree, known as the Leadership in the Construction and Design Professions minor. The overarching leadership initiative seeks to expand support for the minor and provide more multidisciplinary opportunities for students, particularly those with an interest in the unique qualities of creative teams.

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The Association of Former Students

A Powerful Aggie Network

Throughout the Lead by Example campaign, no single organization or entity has engaged more Aggies in support of Texas A&M than The Association of Former Students, touching almost every student on the Texas A&M campus through support of scholarships and academic programs, traditions and student activities, and recognition of former students, current students, faculty and staff. From 2012 through July 2020, more than 138,000 members of the Aggie Network made gifts to The Association totaling $125.4 million. These gifts have provided support for university-directed programs through the Annual Fund and also funded endowments providing perpetual Annual Fund support, as well as Endowed Aggie Ring Scholarships.

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A Growing Annual Fund

The Annual Fund, the bedrock of The Association’s support to Texas A&M, has grown substantially during the campaign in both donors and dollars. In 2012, 43,341 donors contributed $7,683,533 million to the Annual Fund, while at the end of 2019, a record high 60,730 Aggies contributed $10,879,517 in gifts. Most remarkably, the average gift in 2019 was only $14 per month, showcasing the incredible power small gifts can make to Texas A&M. These gifts have provided scholarships, made emergency funds available to students facing unplanned financial hardship, helped the Aggie Band travel to away games, supported diversity initiatives and provided support to the Ross Volunteers, Fish Drill Team, Yell Leaders, Fish Camp, Muster Committee and many other student organizations.

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New Endowments

A total of 398 Endowed Century Club gifts have been made during the campaign, increasing the total number of endowments by 59%, while 138 Endowed Aggie Ring Scholarships have also been established. These scholarships, combined with pass-through gifts, have provided Aggie Rings to 1,003 students who otherwise might not have been able to purchase a ring.

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The Bush School of Government & Public Service

The Albritton Center for Grand Strategy

Gifts totaling $6.25 million from the Charles Koch Foundation and Texas A&M University System Regent Robert Albritton ’71 established the Center for Grand Strategy at the Bush School of Government and Public Service. The new center serves as an intellectual hub for the critical examination of U.S. foreign policy at a time of flux in international politics. The center supports research on America’s grand strategic choices; fosters dialogue between scholars and practitioners; and helps engage a new generation of public servants who will be grand strategic innovators. The center will also give Bush School graduate students with a special interest in grand strategy opportunities to interact with notable speakers and scholars affiliated with the center.

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A New Teaching Site

In spring 2020, Texas A&M announced plans to open a new teaching site in Washington, D.C., featuring the Bush School of Government and Public Service. Made possible through financial support from the Diana Davis Spencer Foundation, the teaching site is located near the White House and other key government buildings and is expected to open in fall 2020, with classes commencing in early 2021. At the site, the Bush School will offer courses toward a new Master of International Policy degree geared toward working professionals who hope to broaden their knowledge of international affairs and national security. Additional programs from across the university—such as law, health care and food security—are also being considered for the future.

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Corps of Cadets

A New Quad

During the campaign, the Corps of Cadets completed an overhaul of the Quad. A two-phase renovation plan was enacted, consisting of renovations to dorms 1 through 12, landscaping and paving to create a safer, more efficient space for cadets to live, and the opening of four Leadership Learning Centers. These 17,000-square-foot facilities provide cadets with state-of-the-art features, including group and individual study rooms, computer labs, tutoring rooms, lounges and even a Starbucks. The centers were funded through more than $20 million in private donations, including lead gifts from Susan and Michael J. Plank ’83, Stephen C. Ash ’87, H. Grady Ash Jr. ’58 and Tony Buzbee ’90. The renovated Quad creates a true living and learning community for cadets by providing convenient residential study spaces and has helped raise the average GPA in the Corps to 3.1.

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College of Dentistry

A New Clinic and Education Building

The College of Dentistry raised more than $10 million to construct a new nine-story, 167,000-square-foot Clinic and Education Building in Dallas. With the building’s grand opening in January 2020, the dental school can expand enrollment, treat more patients and address the need for more dental health professionals across the state. The College of Dentistry is one of only two dental colleges in the nation that offers training in all nine oral health specializations. Its student practitioners engage in more than 100,000 visits with patients—many of whom are from low-income, underserved communities—for a fraction of the price of a private practice visit. The building’s design supports an innovative educational model for teaching and learning that enhances comprehensive patient care and supports the school’s status as the largest single provider of oral health care in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

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College of Education and Human Development


Thanks to initial private and corporate financial support, a new Texas A&M program offers an inclusive and immersive four-year residential educational opportunity for young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Aggie ACHIEVE (Academic Courses in Higher Inclusive Education and Vocational Experiences) is the first program of its kind in Texas and one of a growing number of similar higher education efforts nationally. Coordinated through the Department of Educational Psychology, students in the program attend Texas A&M classes and weekly seminars and participate in campus organizations. Participants also hold both on- and off-campus internships to hone their career development skills and prepare them for independent living. The first Aggie cohort, which started fall 2019, includes five students who have Down syndrome, autism or cerebral palsy.

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Reta Haynes Dean’s Chair

Among her many contributions to the university, Reta Haynes committed a $5 million planned gift in 2016 to establish a dean’s chair in the College of Education and Human Development. Through the university’s chair matching program, cash funds from the president’s office increased the chair to $6 million. Endowed chairs help recruit and retain elite professors and faculty to the university, strengthening the quality of educational opportunities. Haynes’ gift has fulfilled her passion for education by supporting Dean Joyce Alexander for the past five years. Funds from the chair have supported Alexander’s research initiatives as well as new academic programs, undergraduate research and internal seed grants in the college. Uniquely, Alexander pledged that a portion of the chair’s income would also always be used to provide Aggie scholarships. In 2019 alone, four clinical teaching awards were given to students fulfilling their student teaching requirement.

Advancing Human Health

To improve the human performance field, Debbie and Mike Hilliard ’73 committed a multimillion-dollar planned gift for the Sydney and J.L. Huffines Institute for Sports Medicine and Human Performance. Housed in the Department of Health and Kinesiology, the institute connects exercise scientists, practitioners and the public to spread the word that activity and exercise are the cheapest and most efficient forms of disease prevention and symptom alleviation. The couple’s gift will support the institute’s public outreach podcast, the Hilliard Discussions; provide fellowships for graduate students; and establish a faculty chair in aging and longevity. Additionally, their commitment was matched with a $1 million cash gift from the Texas A&M President’s Office to create the Debbie and Mike Hilliard ’73 Huffines Institute Chair.

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College of Engineering

Zachry Engineering Education Complex

The August 2018 unveiling of the new Zachry Engineering Education Complex, the largest academic building on campus, signaled an impressive moment for the future of Texas A&M engineering education. The 525,000-square-foot facility, equipped with 60,000 square feet of maker’s space, expansive instructional labs, 3D printers and technology-enhanced learning studios, revolutionizes the way students learn engineering principles. The inclusion of 10 large-scale artworks throughout the building that merge art with science and technology has also led to the development of the first engineering art curriculum. The completion of the four-year, $228 million project came with the help of more than $75 million in private donations, including a $1 million gift from the Student Engineers’ Council that kicked off fundraising efforts.

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Two Department Namings

During the campaign, two extraordinary acts of philanthropy named two departments in the College of Engineering. The late J. Mike Walker ’66 and his wife, Donna, gave $20 million each to Texas A&M University and The University of Texas at Austin to name both schools’ departments of mechanical engineering. At Texas A&M, their gift will expand access to experiential learning and help researchers develop new technologies, improve quality of life and launch future engineering leaders. In celebration of the 80th anniversary of the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Texas A&M, Sugar and Mike Barnes ’64 established a major endowment of more than $10 million to support the department’s general operations. In recognition of their generosity, the department was renamed in their honor.

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Petroleum Ventures Program

In 2015, two Aggie engineers and their wives, April and Jay Graham ’92 and Gina and Anthony Bahr ’91, financed a $12 million unprecedented collaboration between the Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering and Mays Business School to ensure that Texas A&M graduates remain leaders in the energy sector. With an extra semester of classes starting their sophomore year, business and engineering undergraduates can earn a certificate from the new Petroleum Ventures Program. The curriculum is designed to serve petroleum engineers who want to delve into private equity and new venture opportunities, as well as business majors who aspire to jobs as oil industry analysts or energy investment bankers.

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The George & Barbara Bush Foundation

Supporting a Legacy of Service

The George & Barbara Bush Foundation is dedicated to preserving the legacies of President and Mrs. Bush by supporting the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum and The Bush School of Government and Public Service. As one of four of Texas A&M’s affiliated fundraising entities, the organization has raised nearly $28 million for the Lead by Example campaign through contributions from more than 26,000 donors.

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College of Geosciences

Field Camp

Generations of future Aggie geologists will have the opportunity to attend Field Camp, thanks to a $3 million gift from Jane ’76 and Bill R. Thomas ’75 that endowed the camp and ensured its longevity. As part of the College of Geosciences’ comprehensive field-based education program, Field Camp allows geology and geophysics students to solidify their understanding of basic and complex geological concepts during three-week summer excursions to states such as Montana, Utah and New Mexico. Through various field and mapping exercises, Aggies gain real-world insight into the scale and scope of geology and the character and complexities of rocks in the natural environment.

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The Hagler Institute for Advanced Study

A Naming Gift for the Institute

Distinguished former student Jon Hagler ’58 committed $20 million to the now named Hagler Institute for Advanced Study. Hagler’s transformative gift established the institute as a permanent part of Texas A&M University, forever enhancing its academic quality. The institute brings world-class scholars to campus for up to 12 months to collaborate on career-changing research with outstanding Texas A&M faculty and students. Eleven of the institute’s 70 fellows have since joined the university’s faculty and, as a result, have attracted additional national academy members to campus. These additions of excellence have drastically enhanced the international reputations of key academic units, helping to ensure the finest education for Aggie students.

School of Law

Two Transformational Gifts

The School of Law joined the Texas A&M University family in 2013 and has skyrocketed in rank and reputation in the time since—recently jumping an unprecedented 23 points, to a No. 60 ranking in the U.S. News & World Report’s listing of the nation’s top law schools. Given the school’s relative youth, some of its most significant campaign gifts have come from non-law graduates. Two recent gifts are exemplary: $250,000 commitments from Jon Hagler ’58 and Avi and Debra Naider. Hagler’s gift created the Hagler Law Symposium Fund, which will support policy-oriented conversations on critical social and economic challenges. Avi Naider, a Princeton University graduate and long-time friend to Bobby Ahdieh, dean of the law school, created a scholarship endowment in Ahdieh’s honor that will support law students who participate in one of the school’s 10 community legal service clinics.

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College of Liberal Arts

Glasscock Director’s Chair

A $1 million gift from Susanne and Melbern Glasscock ’59, longtime supporters of the College of Liberal Arts, created a director’s chair for the Melbern G. Glasscock Center for Humanities Research. The gift was matched with $1 million from the Texas A&M University President’s Office. In 2002, the Glasscocks gave a large donation to name the institute, a world-leading humanities hub that awards grants and fellowships for humanities research and sponsors lecture series and other events. The couple’s most recent gift supports the center’s new director, Dr. Emily Brady, a humanities expert who formerly taught at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. Brady’s unique leadership will guide the center as it focuses on new initiatives, such as Humanities: Land Sea Space, which addresses urgent environmental concerns, and Global Health and the Humanities, which explores global health issues.

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University Libraries

Enhancing Preservation Efforts

In 2013, Susan ’74 and Bill Ouren ’74 set out to preserve Aggie history at Cushing Memorial Library and Archives by establishing two gifts. Their $150,000 cash gift funded startup equipment, furnishings and supplies necessary for the Libraries’ new Preservation Unit, while their $3 million planned gift created the William and Susan Ouren Preservation Librarian Endowment. After their lifetimes, this endowment will fund a preservation librarian position and support preservation efforts for the many rare and fragile items in Cushing’s collections. The Ourens’ combined gifts will make a lasting impact on Cushing and the students and researchers who utilize its preserved history.

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Mays Business School

Mays Family Foundation Gives $25 Million

Initially founded in 1994 by Peggy and Lowry Mays ’57, the Mays Family Foundation generously gives to causes and communities that have impacted its founders. In 2017, the organization gave a $25 million gift to Mays Business School, the largest single commitment in the school’s history. The gift supports several areas of innovation and established the Lowry Mays Entrepreneurial Leadership Academy in the McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship, which is focused on attracting entrepreneurial students to Mays and supporting their success. In addition, $15 million is earmarked toward the proposed building expansion of the school’s Business Education Complex. With this commitment, the Mays Family Foundation has now given more than $47 million to Texas A&M, including an original $15 million commitment in 1996 to name Mays Business School.

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The McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship

In 2017, the late Arthur “Artie” McFerrin Jr. ’65 and his wife, Dorothy, committed a $10 million gift in support of entrepreneurship education and programming in Mays Business School. As a result, the McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship was renamed in their honor. Founded in 1999, the center offers 28 entrepreneurship programs each year that serve more than 3,000 current students and more than 1,000 former students annually. Funds from the McFerrin’s gift will advance the center’s work as an international leader in entrepreneurial education and will further help it more effectively prepare aspiring entrepreneurs to succeed in a global economy.

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The James Benjamin Department of Accounting

Following a $10 million fundraising campaign, Mays Business School’s accounting department was officially named the James Benjamin Department of Accounting in 2019. The naming honors Dr. James Benjamin, who joined the Texas A&M faculty in 1974 and has served as accounting department head since 1982. During his decades of leadership, he has positively impacted countless students’ lives and set an example of selfless service and excellence. Lead gifts totaling $4 million from Ernst & Young and Denise and David Baggett ’81 initiated the campaign, while a number of other former students and friends also contributed to the cause. All funds will ultimately support the needs of the department and ensure its future growth.

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College of Medicine

Engineering Medicine (EnMed)

In collaboration with the College of Engineering and Houston Methodist Hospital, the College of Medicine developed a new graduate school option that is leading the future of health care. Engineering Medicine, or EnMed, welcomed its inaugural 25 students in 2019 thanks to more than $1.1 million contributed by donors. As the nation’s first fully integrated engineering and medical education curriculum, EnMed educates a new kind of doctor: “physicianeers.” This new medical education model prepares professionals with the clinical skills to diagnose symptoms and treat patients, along with the engineering mindset to solve problems, invent new technologies and rapidly move these innovative ideas to practice in patient care. As a result, EnMed graduates have the potential to solve some of today’s most daunting health problems.

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College of Nursing

Knowles Boost Health Care Education

To provide for the next generation of health care professionals, Sue and Dr. Joe Knowles ’50 committed a $750,000 cash gift and a $7 million planned gift to fund scholarships for students in the colleges of medicine and nursing. Their gift marks the largest individual gift ever made in the history of the Texas A&M Health Science Center. Divided equally between the two colleges, the couple’s scholarships are designed to encourage future Aggie nurses and physicians to pursue careers in rural health care. A big boost to the College of Nursing’s scholarship program, the Knowles’ gift has supported six nursing students since 2017.

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College of Pharmacy

Addressing Medical Needs

In an effort to create a diverse group of much-needed pharmacists who can address medical needs in underserved areas in Texas, Aimee ’93 and John Mohr ’94 supported the Irma Lerma Rangel College of Pharmacy at Texas A&M with an endowed gift to provide scholarships for first-year, out-of-state students earning a degree in the college. Their gift will alleviate students’ financial burdens so they can focus on their studies and experiences at Texas A&M. The Mohrs, who now live in Massachusetts, chose to help out-of-state students so they can experience the wide array of beliefs and cultures that come with living in a different state and create lasting relationships.

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School of Public Health

Increasing Scholarship Support

The Texas A&M School of Public Health is devoted to revolutionizing health through interdisciplinary inquiry, innovative solutions and a commitment to create Aggie leaders through the tradition of service. During the Lead by Example campaign, the school has prioritized funding and awarding scholarships to attract the best and brightest students to Texas A&M. The school has raised $445,000 to create 12 new scholarships for deserving students. These scholarships help expose students to a variety of industries and provide opportunities to grow professionally.

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College of Science

Science Leadership Scholars

Thanks to more than 30 donors, the College of Science achieved its goal to raise $2.7 million to permanently endow the Science Leadership Scholars program. Established in 2016, the program provides an average of $2,000 in annual support to first-generation students from low-income families in the College of Science. Scholars attend weekly meetings with mentors and participate in academic workshops that help them acclimate to college. Participants are twice as likely to graduate in four years with a STEM degree when compared to students from similar backgrounds who do not participate. Now in its fourth year, the program has served 71 Aggies, including two who completed their degrees in December 2019 as the program’s first graduates and an additional 10 graduates in May 2020.

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Division of Student Affairs

John D. White ’70 – Robert L. Walker ’58 Music Activities Center

After a successful fundraising campaign involving 207 individuals who contributed more than $21 million, the John D. White ’70 – Robert L. Walker ’58 Music Activities Center opened in August 2019 after 20 months of construction. The 70,000-square-foot building provides a new home to the more than 1,300 Aggies who are part of Texas A&M’s orchestras, choral groups and bands. It includes state-of-the-art rehearsal spaces and soundproof practice rooms, ample instrument storage, a reception area and student lounge, administrative offices and a perfect turf replica of Kyle Field that serves as the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band’s new drill field. The center rivals the quality of any university music facility in the United States and provides a bright future for Texas A&M’s music traditions.

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Don and Ellie Knauss Veteran Resource & Support Center

In 2020, Don and Ellie Knauss committed a $5 million gift to support the university’s Veteran Resource & Support Center (VRSC) and student veterans. In recognition of their generosity, the center has been renamed the Don and Ellie Knauss Veteran Resource & Support Center. As the university’s leading donors for veterans scholarships, the couple is passionate about enhancing student veteran programming and resources on campus. Their gift supports four areas within the VRSC: $2.5 million is dedicated to renovations in the Memorial Student Center (MSC), where the new, world-class center will permanently reside; $1 million will be retained as a facility endowment for maintenance; $1 million will provide funding for on-campus veteran programs; and $500,000 will be used as matching funds to encourage the creation of new veteran scholarships.

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Texas A&M Foundation

$1 Billion in Planned Gifts

The Texas A&M Foundation exceeded its goal to raise $1 billion in planned gifts during the campaign by raising $1.1 billion. These gifts, which account for 42% of the total funds raised by the Foundation thus far, will play a crucial role in providing for the future of Texas A&M’s students, faculty, staff and programs. During the campaign, the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, the College of Engineering and the Corps of Cadets received the highest commitments in planned gifts.

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Scholarship Support

During the campaign, donors generously funded 4,261 scholarships through the Foundation—2,502 of which are endowed and will provide perpetual support to Aggie students. Scholarships result in a return on investment like no other by opening doors to higher education, which creates socioeconomic mobility and the leaders of tomorrow.

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Loyal Friends

In 1998, the Texas A&M Foundation Board of Trustees established its highest honor, the Sterling C. Evans Medal, to recognize individuals and organizations who have offered significant philanthropic support, service and volunteer leadership to help Texas A&M remain among the world’s top public higher education institutions. The award has been bestowed on 50 individuals and foundations since its inception, and these recipients remain some of Aggieland’s most stalwart supporters and friends. During the campaign, this generous group contributed more than $370 million to Aggieland in support of a wide range of campus areas.

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Texas A&M University at Galveston

Advancing the Texas A&M Maritime Academy

Through four endowed scholarships and a significant planned gift, Jere and Capt. Jack Smith ’64 have significantly aided Texas A&M University at Galveston’s marine transportation students. Both their current and planned gift scholarships support students in the Texas A&M Maritime Academy training to become deck officers aboard seagoing vessels and are designated for those who exhibit outstanding achievements while onboard a training vessel during the academy’s summer sea term. While the highly specialized education and training offered on these cruises is unmatched, the price is upwards of $10,000—a cost the Smiths’ gifts will help offset. Their planned gift will also help with the upkeep of Galveston’s vessel training simulator, which offers a moving, virtual reality experience for aspiring ship officers.

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Texas A&M University Press

A New Book Series

A generous $100,000 gift from Sarah ’84 and Mark Philpy ’77 sponsored a new book series from Texas A&M University Press called the “Texas Experience.” The series reflects the land-grant mission of Texas A&M to serve the people of the state of Texas, from scholars to general readers, with topics that reflect the broad interests of a big state. The couple’s gift already underwrote two books published in 2019: “Photographing Texas: The Swartz Brothers, 1880–1918” by Richard Selcer and “In the Shadow of the Chinatis: A History of Pinto Canyon in the Big Bend” by David Keller. Sarah has served as a member of the Press’ Advancement Board since 2011. The couple’s gift will continue to support the publishing of more high-caliber books in the series.

College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences

Thomas G. Hildebrand, DVM ’56 Equine Complex

Thanks to more than $32 million from donors, including a lead $30 million gift-in-kind, construction of the Thomas G. Hildebrand DVM ’56 Equine Complex was completed in 2014. Since then, the complex has functioned as the on-campus home for equine teaching, research and outreach and provided a dedicated space for Texas A&M’s elite Equestrian Team. Additionally, a $2.5 million grant from the Burnett Foundation was matched by other funds to establish the $5 million Glenn Blodgett Equine Chair supporting the director of the equine initiative in perpetuity. Together, these gifts helped establish a premier equine program at Texas A&M. The facility is also home to the university’s Cross Country teams and includes a course that is utilized to host meets.

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Support for Faculty

In support of advanced veterinary research, Linda and Dennis Clark ’68 gave a $1 million gift to fund two faculty chairs in the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. The chair’s holders, Dr. Ashlee Watts and Dr. Brian Saunders ’98, are undertaking research in support of the college’s translational medicine priority, which focuses on translating novel treatments in veterinary medicine to the human realm. Saunders, a small animal orthopedic surgeon, focuses on the development of bone and cartilage tissue engineering solutions and how these solutions can also be applied to humans. Funds from the chair are also supporting Watts, an equine orthopedic surgeon, and her team as they refine and seek FDA approval on a new therapy to heal tendon injuries in horses.

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For the Love of a Horse

Through a gift of real estate, Deborah and Bill Keyes (left) of Dripping Springs, Texas, have committed one of the largest planned gifts during the campaign. They have included a gift in their estate plans of their 2,500-acre ranch to the Texas A&M Foundation to be held for educational purposes at Texas A&M University after their lifetimes. The gift honors Casey, their Rocky Mountain gelding, and the Texas A&M veterinarians, Drs. Keith Chaffin and Carolyn Arnold, who have cared for him through the years.

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12th Man Foundation

Kyle Field Renovation

12th Man Foundation donors have gone above and beyond by committing more than $256 million toward facility projects for Texas A&M Athletics since 2012. First and foremost was the completion and grand opening of the redeveloped Kyle Field. The two-year $485 million project, which concluded in time for Aggie football’s 2015 season opener, represented the most extensive redevelopment of a collegiate athletic facility in history. The result, thanks to more than $220 million in gifts from 12th Man Foundation donors, is the finest college football stadium in the country and one that is considered the crown jewel of collegiate athletics.

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Other Facility Projects

Inside the Cox-McFerrin Center for Aggie Basketball, 12th Man Foundation donors funded approximately $5 million in facility projects for both men’s basketball—the Shannon ’86 and Wayne ’85 Roberts Basketball Student-Athlete Center—and women’s basketball—the Barbara C. Barnett Women’s Basketball Student-Athlete Center. Donors also funded the Linda & Dennis Clark ’68 Football Performance Nutrition addition to the expanded Becky ’76 and Monty ’77 Davis Football Player Development Center with more than $7 million in donations. Additionally, construction is ongoing for a new home for Texas A&M’s swimming and diving programs, made possible by more than $6 million in donations, including a lead gift from Anne and Henry “Hank” Paup ’70. In 2019, Texas A&M also celebrated the official opening of the Davis Diamond for softball and the E.B. Cushing Stadium for outdoor track and field, which came to fruition due to more than $18 million in donor support.

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The 1922 Fund

In July 2015, the 12th Man Foundation launched the 1922 Fund with the goal of endowing scholarships for all Texas A&M student-athletes. Aggie Athletics was changed forever on Jan. 2, 1922, when E. King Gill was called from the crowd to put on a uniform and stand ready for his team. Following in Gill’s footsteps, 12th Man Foundation donors are making an indelible impact on Texas A&M Athletics with their transformative contributions to the 1922 Fund. Donors committed $2.7 million to the 1922 Fund in its inaugural year, and as of June 2020, the fund balance has grown to $11.9 million. This generous philanthropic support of scholarship endowments represents a direct investment in the long-term viability and success of Texas A&M Athletics.

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