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Spirit is published three times per year by the Texas A&M Foundation, which manages major gifts and endowments for the benefit of academic programs, scholarships and student activities at Texas A&M University.

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Also In This Issue

New Gifts: Recent Gifts to the Foundation

Remembering Christy

Christy Crow ’16 had two goals in life: To become an Aggie and change the lives of young students through teaching—two dreams cut unexpectedly short from her passing in April 2014 from mononucleosis.

To honor her memory, her family is funding a $100,000 endowed scholarship to support transfer students with an interest in fine arts in the Department of Teaching, Learning and Culture.

“She wanted to be an Aggie for as long as I can remember,” said Christy’s mom Suzanne. “She knew more about the Aggie football team than anybody I know, even my husband!”

Her brother Nick always knew she would make an impact on the lives of young people. “This scholarship is for students who exhibit selfless service in high school and who will spread the love and joy Christy would have as a teacher,” he said.

Allison Taliaferro ’18 is the first recipient. “This scholarship helps me further my education and gave me the opportunity to study abroad in Spain and Portugal, where we learned about European educational systems,” she said.

The Crow family continues to honor Christy with mononucleosis awareness through the nonprofit Christy’s Wish Foundation.

Hear from scholarship recipient Allison Taliaferro ’18:

Surprise, Dean Newton!

To honor Dr. H. Joseph Newton’s 15 years of service as dean of science at Texas A&M University, members of the college’s advisory council raised more than $100,000 and surprised him with an endowed award in his honor.

The Dr. H. Joseph Newton Dean’s Excellence in Service to Science Award will support up to four students each year who are pursing science degrees and who exhibit leadership skills reminiscent of Newton.

Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs Timothy Scott ’89 presented Newton with the award at a dinner earlier this year.

“Isaac Newton once said, ‘If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.’ This award honors our own giant, Dr. Newton, who has provided excellence in leadership for more than a decade,” said Scott. “His leadership is built on the principle of putting people first, and he epitomizes all that we value at this university.”

Newton was named interim dean of the college in 2000 and dean in 2002. He returned to a faculty position in the Department of Statistics after his successor Meigan Aronson took office Oct. 1.

To contribute to the endowment online, visit give.am/SupportNewtonScholarship.

View Dr. Newton’s reaction to the award:

Class of '02 Grad Supports Faculty

A fellowship established by Steve Brauer Jr. ’02 will permanently support the teaching and research of a mechanical engineering faculty member.

“To my knowledge, Mr. Brauer is the youngest former student to endow a faculty fellowship,” said Department Head Andreas Polycarpou. “He serves as a great example of generosity and the embodiment of the Aggie spirit.”

The fellowship’s first recipient is Timothy Jacobs, an associate professor of mechanical engineering. His research focuses on developing alternative fuels and next-generation internal combustion engines to improve efficiency while reducing emissions.

“I am deeply honored to be named this fellow and intrigued by Mr. Brauer’s generous gift, especially given his age,” said Jacobs, who will use income generated by the $300,000 fellowship to recruit and support high-achieving undergraduate and graduate students who wish to study internal combustion engines.

“Funding and research money are a means to an end, where the end is scholarship, well-educated students and the impact that comes with advancing and developing human knowledge,” he said. “The action of giving not only speaks of generosity, but also of an understanding that a lasting legacy comes from being of service to others.”

Brauer was named an outstanding young alumnus of the engineering college in March. He serves on the Mechanical Engineering Industry Advisory Council and sponsors the Texas A&M Formula Society of Automotive Engineers, a group that annually designs a racing vehicle for competition.

The Practice of Giving

New York native Christi Warren ’84 made the transition to chaps and spurs easily. Drawn to Texas A&M University for its renowned veterinary program, she left the Northeast for the Lone Star State in 1977 and later graduated with a doctorate of veterinary medicine.

Now a veterinary ophthalmologist with her own practice in Florida, Warren still lives by Aggie values. 

“Once an Aggie, always an Aggie,” she said. 

To boost a 2004 endowed gift she created to support the Veterinary Medical Teaching Hospital, Warren established a $500,000 planned gift in 2015. Funds distributed from her endowment after her lifetime will continue to enhance the hospital’s teaching and research purposes and offset costs of graduate research support, equipment and clinical trials.

“I am thankful that the college gave me my vocation, and I want to see its good work continue,” Warren said. “There is nothing more honorable than having the knowledge and ability to heal, relieve suffering and improve the quality of life for animals and the owners who love them. The teaching hospital helps the college prepare countless students for that calling annually.”

Gift Wrap-Up

Boost for Aggies on Wall Street 

Longtime Mays Business School supporter Craig McMahen ’89 gave $100,000 to boost the Aggies on Wall Street Program and enhance teaching and research in the Department of Finance. A program he helped found, Aggies on Wall Street is designed for students who want to compete in commercial and investment banking sectors.

Scholarship Supports Visualization 

Gracie Arenas Strittmatter ’04 ’08 endowed the first scholarship created by a former visualization student. She and her husband Willem ’02 established the Rising Aggie Vizzer in Gaming Scholarship to support visualization majors aspiring to pursue a career in games.

Giving for the Future

Before his passing in 2015, the late Paul F. Deisler Jr. '46 established a $150,000 charitable gift annuity to enhance a graduate fellowship in chemical engineering he and his late wife Ellen endowed in 1999.

Sales Program Founded

Graham Weston ’86, co-founder and chairman of Rackspace Hosting, credits his career success to his time at Texas A&M. To honor the Department of Agricultural Economics, Weston gave $1 million to found the Weston Sales EQ program to train students in sales management.