Neera ’87 and Tony Talbert established three scholarships to pay it forward after their daughter, Caitlyn ’16, received a mechanical engineering scholarship through the Texas A&M Foundation. Caitlyn’s scholarship greatly reduced the cost of college, encouraged academic achievement, improved her self-confidence and resilience, and allowed her to actively participate in student organizations—and the Talberts wanted to help future Aggies have similar experiences.
Their most recent contribution supports student success and retention among underrepresented students in the College of Engineering. Tapping matching funds from their employers, Microsoft and IBM, the couple created the first scholarship to support an upper-level engineering student who mentors first-year engineering students and is a member of the National Society of Black Engineers.
“When I was on the college’s Engineering Advisory Council, we received feedback that some freshmen feel overwhelmed by the transition from high school to Texas A&M University,” Neera said. “Our scholarship is intended to create some equity for those students and ensure they have the resources and community to develop to their fullest potential. When Texas A&M attracts and graduates a more diverse class of students who can apply their skills to solve problems, the workforce benefits from the diversity of thought and experience these graduates bring to the table.”