Every gift makes an impact. Here’s a look at how a few significant gifts from the past fiscal year are benefiting Texas A&M University students, faculty, colleges and programs.

An Anniversary Gift

In celebration of the 80th anniversary of the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Texas A&M University, Sugar and Mike Barnes ’64 established a major endowment in excess of $10 million to support the department’s general operations. To recognize their generous investment, the department was renamed the Wm Michael Barnes ’64 Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering.

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A Humble Salute

Ellie and Don Knauss of Sugar Land, Texas, committed a $5 million gift to the Texas A&M Foundation to support and name Texas A&M University’s Veteran Resource & Support Center. As part of the Division of Student Affairs, the center provides resources for nearly 1,300 Texas A&M student veterans and their family members.

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Aggies Take Washington

Texas A&M University 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 new site is located within several blocks of the White House and other key government buildings. While the location is expected to open in the fall of 2020, classes toward a new Master of International Policy degree will commence in early 2021.

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For the Love of a Horse

Through a gift of real estate, Deborah and Bill Keyes of Dripping Springs, Texas, have committed one of the largest planned gifts during the Lead by Example 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 who have cared for him through the years.

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“Mike and Sugar Barnes care deeply about Texas A&M and ensuring a top-quality engineering education for generations of students to come. We deeply appreciate their generous support and are proud to have the Barnes’ name affiliated with our industrial and systems engineering program.”

-Dr. M. Katherine Banks
Vice Chancellor and Dean
College of Engineering

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“With this gift, I have a simple answer when people ask me what the VRSC will look like in 2030: There won’t just be hundreds of success stories like we’re currently witnessing—there will be thousands! Don and Ellie are helping to write these stories. They are literally changing lives for those who have served our great country.”

-Col. Jerry Smith '82
Director of the Don and Ellie Knauss VSRC

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“The expansion of Texas A&M and the Bush School into Washington, D.C., is consistent with the vision of the school’s founder and namesake, the late President George H.W. Bush. President Bush believed that public service is a noble calling. The opportunity to educate future leaders in our nation’s capital allows us to reach so many more students who are following, or seeking to follow, that noble calling.”

-General Mark A. Welsh III
Dean of the Bush School of Government and Public Service

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“We are very grateful to Deborah and Bill Keyes for entrusting their impressive Texas Hill Country ranch to Texas A&M University in recognition of the robust relationship built between the Keyes and the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences’ (CVMBS) large animal veterinarians who treated their beloved horse, Casey. This substantial planned gift from the Keyes establishes an extraordinary legacy in recognition of the compelling bond between animals and the veterinarians who have dedicated their lives to caring for them at the CVMBS.”

-Dr. John August
Interim Dean, College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences

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