Also In This Issue

New Gifts: Recent Gifts to Texas A&M

Pam and Larry Little '73

BOOSTING Entrepreneurship

Earlier this year, Larry Little ’73 received the best surprise birthday present he could ask for: His wife, Pam, created a $100,000 endowed scholarship in his honor for students involved in the McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship in Mays Business School at Texas A&M University.

“Larry credits his success in life to Texas A&M,” said Pam. “I wanted to honor him and his achievements by providing the same opportunities for success to other students.”

The McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship provides business startup acceleration, competitive opportunities, work experiences and financial support to aspiring entrepreneurs in the Aggie community and across the world. The Littles recognize the importance of entrepreneurism in America and want students to realize their dreams of launching new ideas or starting their own businesses.

Pam and Larry are seasoned entrepreneurs themselves, having owned and operated Ace Fence for more than 40 years, a business they started out of their garage while living in Tomball, Texas. Headquartered in Dallas today, the company has grown to multimillion dollars in sales. Since establishing their initial gift, the couple has increased their endowment to $200,000 to give more students the courage and opportunity to pursue their business ventures. 

Drs. Charles "Chuck" Hermann and Lorraine Eden

A Legacy of Public Service

Drs. Charles “Chuck” Hermann and Lorraine Eden, two longtime faculty members, are commemorating their retirement from Texas A&M University by establishing an endowed fellowship at the Bush School of Government and Public Service.

Hermann served as the Bush School’s founding director, while Eden has taught courses at the Bush School and Mays Business School. The couple played an integral role in helping establish the Bush School as one of the nation’s top institutions for public and international affairs. “With both President George H.W. Bush and Mrs. Barbara Bush passing in 2018, we felt that it was the closing of a chapter for us,” Eden said. “We wanted to do something to honor them, our time at the school and the exceptional students we’ve encountered along the way.”

The couple hopes their gift, which is designated for second-year graduate students in the school’s international affairs program, allows recipients to engage in professional growth and development. “We want students to participate in language immersion programs and seek internships that will prepare them for public service, rather than worry about funding their education,” Hermann said.

“By awarding second-year students, we want to acknowledge those who come into the school and perform exceptionally well,” Eden added. “The first recipient will be awarded during the 2020-2021 school year, which also marks our 25th year at Texas A&M. We couldn't think of a better anniversary gift!"

Merry '84 and William Raba '86

A Blueprint for Impact

The blueprint for Merry and William Raba’s lives was crafted by the love, success and philanthropy exemplified by their parents. These second-generation Aggies recently established two $150,000 endowments to support the College of Architecture.

“We wanted to give a strategic gift to help strengthen and bring recognition to Texas A&M construction science and the college,” said William ’86. After learning about the college’s needs, the couple created a professorship for the director of graduate programs in the Department of Construction Science, as well as a fellowship for students pursuing a graduate degree in construction science.

William is the former president and vice chairman of San Antonio-based Raba Kistner Inc., an engineering, project management and environmental consulting firm. The redevelopment of Kyle Field, completed in 2015, is among the many notable Texas A&M projects led by William, a 2017 College of Architecture Outstanding Alumnus.

“As Aggies, we have a responsibility to take care of each other,” said Merry ’84. “Texas A&M and education are two of the cornerstones of our lives, and we are blessed to give back in a way that supports these two priorities.”

Festival Fundraising

Popular among students, Chilifest has easily become one of the most anticipated annual events in the Brazos Valley. A two-day music festival held in Snook, Texas, Chilifest features performances from some of the biggest names in country music each year. Event proceeds benefit local charities and nonprofits.  

Recently, Texas A&M University became a recipient of the organization’s generosity, as Chilifest funded an Endowed Opportunity Award scholarship to support students who show a commitment to volunteerism and extracurricular leadership. “Chilifest is eager to support future Aggies,” said Robert Cary ’18, the 2018 Chilifest president. “We hope this scholarship will help alleviate a burden students might otherwise incur by attending college without financial support.”

The gift reflects the festival’s philanthropic mission and continues its established legacy of giving. “Chilifest recognizes Texas A&M as one of the biggest forces for good in Brazos County, and as part of our commitment to the community, we wanted to support the university and assist incoming students in attending this great institution,” Cary added.


    Almost a year after the grand opening of the Leach Teaching Gardens at Texas A&M, Dr. Dan Lineberger—head of the Department of Horticultural Sciences—and his wife, Theresa, established a $25,000 endowment to support student internships and part-time employment with The Gardens. Their gift is designated for horticulture students in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences who demonstrate an interest in gardening.

    After her grandson, Payne Whatley ’19, participated in the Agricultural and Natural Resources Policy Internship Program last year, Mary Helen Seago created a $50,000 endowed scholarship for students in the program in honor of her late husband, Mike Seago ’66. The experience gives students in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences the opportunity to complete policy-focused internships in Washington, D.C., Austin and Rome while earning academic credit.

    Donald Kubala ’80 committed a $150,000 planned gift for study abroad scholarships to support students in the Department of Architecture. The gift is in honor of Texas A&M professors who positively influenced his life and career, including those who oversaw his own study abroad trip to Italy. All architecture students are required to complete a semester-long study abroad experience as part of their degree, making Kubala’s gift invaluable to future Aggies.

Dunae Reader '15

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