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@txamfoundation: Foundation News

Janet Handley '76

Gifts From Within

This is the fourth in a series of articles on Texas A&M Foundation employees who are committed to giving back to Texas A&M University.

As vice president for investments for the Texas A&M Foundation, Janet Handley ’76 ensures that the Foundation’s investments get the most bang for their buck. But she also makes personal financial decisions that affect Texas A&M University by giving back.

After receiving a bachelor’s degree in applied mathematical science in 1975, Handley worked for Shell Oil for more than a decade in information technology and exploration and production, and later as head of equities for Shell’s Pension Trust Investment Group. After leaving Shell, Handley joined the Foundation in 2001.

“It was the perfect decision, especially since I could continue working in the investments realm,” she said. “The Foundation is populated with high-quality staff who do purposeful work for the university, and I am proud to play a part in that mission.”

Just two years after joining the Foundation, Handley gave a gift of her own. In 2003, she and her late husband James Bade established a $40,000 endowed Foundation Excellence Award that annually provides students with stipends to fund their Texas A&M education.

“I am a big believer in the power of education and in the old adage of teaching people how to fish so they can become productive members of society,” Handley said.

In addition to supporting The Association of Former Students and the 12th Man Foundation, Handley and her mother Lillian also established the Vicki L. and Robert Handley ’67 Corps of Cadets 21st Century Scholarship in 2010.

Inspired by her brother Bob’s decision to endow scholarships commemorating fellow classmates who died in the Vietnam War, the mother-daughter pair endowed a scholarship in Bob’s name. Their $50,000 gift was matched by the Doug Pitcock ’49 Corps of Cadets Scholarship Matching Fund, making the total endowment $100,000.

“My hope is students who receive these scholarships have the opportunity to attend Texas A&M regardless of their financial situation,” Handley said.

Fishin' With Franks

Students who attended Texas A&M University’s Fish Camp this summer had the chance to win $1,000 thanks to the generosity of an Aggie couple from Sugar Land, Texas. Longtime supporters Bobbie Jean and Corky Frank ’58 funded the new Fish Camp award, dubbed “Fishin’ With Franks,” through a gift of more than $18,000 to the Texas A&M Foundation.

The Foundation gave two $1,000 awards to incoming freshmen who attended each of the seven Fish Camp sessions and two additional $1,000 awards to Fish Camp counselors, co-chairs, crew or directors. An additional gift covered the $225 Fish Camp registration fee for 11 freshmen. 

“We consider it a privilege to work with the Foundation to support students who attend Fish Camp,” said Bobbie Jean. “Our hope is that they recognize the great opportunities in front of them and commit to work hard during their college years to gain a quality educational experience.”

The Texas A&M Foundation selected recipients through a random drawing, and awards will be applied to the students’ spring semester fees.

Hagler Center Namesake Honored

The Texas A&M Foundation’s building namesake Jon Hagler ’58 was awarded an honorary doctorate of letters by the university during May commencement exercises.

After receiving an agricultural economics degree from Texas A&M University in 1958, serving as an artillery officer in the Army and earning an MBA at Harvard University in 1963, Hagler began his career in finance and investments. He founded the investment firms of Jennison Associates and Hagler, Mastrovita and Hewett. By age 40, he served as a treasurer and chief investment officer for the Ford Foundation, one of the nation’s largest private philanthropies. He also served as a partner in the firm GMO LLC, a well-known institutional investment manager.

Hagler was the lead donor for the Texas A&M Foundation’s headquarters. In addition to supporting a number of university endeavors, Hagler has provided more than 100 Foundation Excellence Awards supporting outstanding Aggie students from underrepresented groups or with limited financial resources.

“Mr. Hagler facilitated the building of a physical manifestation of the Aggie spirit,” said Foundation President Ed Davis ’67. “We are forever grateful for his many contributions to our organization, which generates support for future generations of Aggies. I cannot think of anyone more deserving of this prestigious honor.”

Hagler served in leadership positions for two Texas A&M capital campaigns. He was co-chair of the landmark Vision 2020: Creating a Culture of Excellence initiative and spent a number of years directing the Vision 2020 advisory council.

“I appreciate the value and importance of education in our society, and of education’s role in empowering individuals to become better citizens and better selves,” Hagler said. “I was surprised, grateful and very humbled to be honored with this doctorate, which reflects a generous spirit within the university. Any contributions I have made have been a labor of love.”

Foundation Makes $88 Million Available to University

The Texas A&M Foundation will make a record $88 million available to Texas A&M University as a result of donations from former students and other supporters plus endowment earnings during the past fiscal year.

Most donors to the Foundation designate how their gifts will be used; approximately 75 percent of donor contributions support the student and college impact areas by providing scholarships and graduate fellowships, enhancing college and departmental programs and funding construction. The remainder funds faculty professorships and chairs, student activities other projects.

By focusing on endowments, the Foundation provides a permanent source of support for Texas A&M. Its long-term investment strategy is designed to ease the effects of severe marketplace changes to provide steady endowment payout over multiple years and to preserve the original gifts.