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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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The Legacy

Family Legacy Inspires Bequest

By Ashley Wagner '18

Office of Gift Planning Student Worker

As a child, Brad Rowe ’97 watched his elders live their lives altruistically—starting with his grandfather William Maier Jr. After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1928, he founded the Maier Foundation with the mission of advancing higher education in his home state of West Virginia. Since its inception, the Foundation has provided grants to universities in West Virginia and to state residents attending college elsewhere.

Today, the Maier Foundation impacts hundreds of lives across the United States. It makes grants to the University of Charleston, West Virginia University, Marshall University and other schools across the country, as well as to educationally-related cultural organizations in West Virginia.

“The fact is, private scholarship support makes the real difference in getting students into college and ultimately integrating them into the workforce,” Rowe said.

Maier Foundation President Brad Rowe ’97 established a scholarship fund for future engineers. 

His family’s line of work inspired him to make his own contribution to the educational cycle. Rowe created the Carl Tommy Rowe Scholarship Fund at Texas A&M through a charitable bequest in his estate, and the fund will provide need-based scholarships for engineering students. The gift honors his father, a chemical engineer and graduate of the University of Kentucky.

“I’m proud to create engineering scholarships at a school with such a strong engineering legacy,” Rowe said. “Furthermore, this gift honors my father for being such a great role model for me and my brothers. He’s always there to provide support and encourage us in every path we choose.”

A charitable bequest can be outlined in a will or trust and specifies that a gift be made to the Foundation as part of an individual’s estate plan. It allows individuals to retain assets during their lifetimes and can later lessen family tax burdens. Bequests can be directed to support any area at Texas A&M.

“My hope is that these scholarships benefit needy but talented engineering students,” Rowe said. “Since the funds will create an endowment after my lifetime, scholarship support will be provided in perpetuity.”

While his family holds strong familial ties to West Virginia, Rowe grew up in Texas, attending middle and high school in Sugar Land after his father transferred to Houston for work. After receiving bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration from Texas A&M, Rowe returned to West Virginia and now serves as president of General Corp., a commercial real estate company based in Charleston, as well as president of the Maier Foundation. He is one of several third-generation Maier family members on the Foundation’s board of directors, following in their grandfather’s footsteps of giving back, supporting students and opening doors for younger generations.

“Through our family foundation, I’ve seen the huge impact a scholarship can have on someone’s life,” Rowe said. “I’m grateful to offer similarly life-changing opportunities for students at Texas A&M.”

Impact of Bequests

Creating a bequest is one of the easiest ways to establish a planned gift through the Texas A&M Foundation, and bequests generate millions of dollars for Texas A&M each year. The Foundation received 48 bequests in 2011-2012; 70 bequests in 2012-2013; 82 bequests in 2013-2014; 77 bequests in 2014-2015; and 85 bequests in 2015-2016, resulting in a total realized bequest value of $74,744,975. 

After adding the Foundation's bequest language to your will or trust, you can specify that a gift be made to support Texas A&M students, faculty, colleges, programs or student organizations. View our bequest language here. If you have already made a bequest to Texas A&M in your will or trust but haven't notified the Foundation, please let us know by calling (800) 392-3310 or by emailing info@txamfoundation.com. 

Contact:

Glenn Pittsford '72

Vice President for Gift Planning
Office of Gift Planning