Alfriend recognizes the profound impact an education can have from firsthand experience. “I grew up in a cotton mill town. Before I went to college, I had never even met an engineer,” he explained.
Following 30 years in roles supporting the Department of Defense and the intelligence community in space, Alfriend initially joined the Texas A&M faculty as head of the aerospace engineering department in 1997 and has been an integral part of the program’s continuing success. During his tenure, he has seen student enrollment rise exponentially, department scholarships grow from zero to more than 50, and the department climb into the nation’s top 10 aerospace programs.
He and his wife, Bonnie, recently contributed to the department in yet another way by creating a generous current and planned gift to support future generations of aerospace engineers. The couple has pledged after-lifetime funds to create an associate professorship and faculty fellowship for early- to mid-career faculty and an endowed scholarship that presently benefits students.