Under President George H.W. Bush’s philosophy that public service is a noble calling, the Bush School of Government and Public Service is dedicated to producing leaders who reflect the value and importance of public service in the United States. With the help of generous donors, the school is educating tomorrow’s public servants for their future careers.
When it comes to service, successful Houston business owners Maria and Rex Grey ’67 believe they are called to serve their community and fellow Aggies. “We think public service is an honorable act,” Rex explained. “We are confident the Bush School provides the best practices to ensure the next generations will serve our country well.”
To prove this, the Greys committed a multimillion-dollar planned gift from their estate to support various areas at Texas A&M University, with more than 35% dedicated to scholarships and professorships at the Bush School. In addition to financially supporting students and faculty, the Greys have personally invested their time in the school’s Intelligence Studies Program, a top-tier program for U.S. intelligence agencies that relies on practitioner expertise from the CIA, FBI, NSA and U.S. military.
In the late ’60s, Rex gained unique intelligence experience during his first career when he and his team developed the first espionage satellites using television cameras. With his early knowledge of the intelligence industry, Rex began attending the Bush School’s Manor House luncheon lecture series in the fall semesters to share his insight with former Bush School Dean, Ambassador Ryan Crocker, and James Olson, a former CIA undercover operative who now leads the Bush School’s Intelligence Studies Program. The Greys now meet with Bush School representatives to stay abreast of the school’s programs and areas they can support. “I am proud that my experience has supported the Bush School in its endeavors to produce capable and knowledgeable leaders, managers and agents,” Rex said.
The Intelligence Studies Program at the Bush School, led by Olson, is a competitive program that has produced more than 300 graduates entering the intelligence field since 1997. Olson said President Bush had a special interest in ensuring that many Bush School graduates would serve the intelligence community. “Maria and Rex clearly identify with President Bush’s vision to prepare young men and women for careers in public service,” Olson said. “With their generosity, Bush school graduates are and will continue doing amazing things on the front lines of U.S. intelligence around the world.”
Serving Our Veterans
Maria and Rex’s passion for public service extends to their daughter, Rebecca Corso ’02, who founded the California Service Dog Academy (CSDA) in 2018 with her husband, Matthew. Their dream to create a nonprofit started with their dog training and behavior company in Visalia, California, called Your Pro Dog Trainer, which opened their eyes to the needs of veterans who couldn't afford quality service dogs. Rebecca and Matthew saw this as an opportunity to create CSDA to provide free service dogs to veterans in California’s South Valley.
The couple used a government grant to implement their Sentinel Dogs program that helps train and match veterans with service dogs at no cost. Once veterans are accepted to the six-week program, they are paired with a dog. They must complete their part of the course before meeting their dog and training it to perform specific tasks. Comprehensive mental health sessions with a therapist are also included to track their progress. Sentinel Dogs has successfully matched 40 deserving veterans (and counting) with service dogs who have changed their lives. The Corsos have recently expanded their clientele to include first responders to help them proactively manage their mental health during times of crisis.
To learn more about CSDA, visit https://californiaservicedogacademy.org/.