Also In This Issue

New Gifts: Recent Gifts to the Foundation


In honor of their friend Caroline Killian ’18, who passed away following a traffic accident in 2017, Lauren ’16 and Alden Warr ’16 established a scholarship for Mays Business School students. “Caroline lived a life worthy of being honored in a meaningful and lasting way,” Alden said. “She loved Texas A&M with her whole heart and shared that love with everyone she encountered.”

A Fish Camp counselor and marketing major, Caroline embodied the Aggie Spirit. “I met Caroline in high school and was overjoyed when she decided to attend Texas A&M,” Lauren said. “Simply put, Caroline was pure joy. She was overflowing with energy and love, and her friendship is something I will cherish forever.”

Lauren and Alden hope their gift gives future Aggies the chance to love Texas A&M as deeply as Caroline did. “Lauren and I were afforded many opportunities by Aggies before us, so it was only natural to honor their legacy by continuing to pay it forward,” Alden said. “I can’t think of a better investment than that of educating future Aggies, and on top of that, honoring Caroline’s life.”


After tragedy struck their family in 2011, Anne and William McLean ’51 began a journey of healing that included giving back. When William’s son, Pat, daughter-in-law, Deena, and granddaughter, Shauna, were killed by Shauna’s estranged husband, the couple created two nursing scholarships in their memory.

The Deena Kay McLean Memorial Scholarship in the Texas A&M College of Nursing supports graduate students working toward careers as nurse practitioners. “We’ve heard about the critical shortage of primary health care providers, and nurse practitioners are often inclined to work in areas that have limited access to health care,” said William. “That’s why we wanted to support these students.”

Meanwhile, the Shauna Kay McLean Endowed Scholarship will be awarded to either an undergraduate or graduate nursing student, providing the greatest flexibility in supporting a student in need. “We wanted something good to come from this terrible loss,” said William. “Supporting nursing students who are dedicated to providing quality health care for others is a very good cause.”


Marlene Lepkoski ’90 describes her life as a series of firsts. Her first plane ride brought her to Texas A&M University, her first job resulted in a full-fledged career at Johnson & Johnson (J&J), and her first gift to the School of Innovation—also the school’s first gift—will open unlimited opportunities for pioneering students. However, none of this would have been possible without a single word: “Howdy!”

“I always say, ‘Texas A&M had me at Howdy,’” laughed Lepkoski. In the 1980s, she traveled from her home state of New Jersey to visit a friend at Texas A&M and fell in love with the warm and welcoming campus atmosphere.

After graduating, Lepkoski began her career at J&J, where she now serves as head of regulatory engagement and development. Her career has taught her about ingenuity, resourcefulness and finding opportunities—lessons that align with Texas A&M’s I-School mission.

Established in August 2017, the I-School is a hub for creativity and problem-solving that helps Aggies prepare for the working world by completing interdisciplinary projects. Lepkoski’s $25,000 endowed scholarship, created with matching funds from J&J, will support students involved with the school.


After graduating from Texas A&M University, Don Lummus ’58 received an MBA from Harvard University. While his days as an Aggie undergrad taught him the importance of hard work, what stayed with him from his time at Harvard was the type of professors there—many of whom came from industry with real-world experience they passed on to their students.

Lummus is a former CEO of Stewart Systems Inc. and a retired director of the Middleby Corp., which acquired Stewart in 1983. His achievements in business enabled him to give back to Texas A&M. He remembered the impact of his Harvard professors and decided with his wife, Marilyn, to create a $1 million endowed professor of practice in the College of Engineering. “It’s important that students can interface with professionals with real-world experience who can talk nuts and bolts,” Don said. “They get a greater springboard to an engineering career by studying under people who recently worked in industry.”

The College of Engineering currently has 65 professors of practice, with a combined total of roughly 1,000 years of industry experience, who are teaching more than 100 engineering classes. The Lummus’ gift falls in line with the college’s long-term goals to increase the number of professors of practice to ensure that students are prepared for their careers.

  • Gift Supports Viticulture

    Longtime Texas A&M supporters Amy ’84 and Tim Leach ’82 created an excellence fund for the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Viticulture and Fruit Lab in Fredericksburg, Texas. The facility, located in the heart of the Texas Hill Country wine-grape and fruit-growing area, provides education and research related to the sustainable statewide production of fruits. The couple has further supported agriculture through their lead gift to name the Leach Teaching Gardens at Texas A&M and its accompanying Leach Vineyard.
  • Expanding Student Horizons

    In addition to creating a President’s Endowed Scholarship, Heather and Patrick Conway ’96 gave an endowed gift to support student participation in the Champe-Fitzhugh International Honors Leadership Seminar. This long-running Memorial Student Center program annually takes a select group of incoming Texas A&M freshmen to Italy for a two-week leadership experience. In recognition, the program was renamed in their honor.
  • Handball Team Receives $1 Million Endowment

    Doug Randolph, founder of the Randolph Foundation for Higher Education, gave a $1 million endowment to support the university’s handball team. Handball was first approved as an intramural sport in 1925, and his gift honors Texas A&M’s first national championship handball player, Brig. Gen. Donald “Don” Johnson ’55. The gift will support faculty who teach handball courses and aid the team as they compete at regional and national tournaments.

Dunae Reader '15

Assistant Director of Marketing & Communications/Spirit Editor/Maroon Co-Editor