June 14, 2022

Always dedicated to the pursuit of excellence, Texas A&M University seeks to recruit the best high school graduates from across the state and nation. But the best scholars often apply to multiple schools, and financial aid plays a large role in their college decision. To attract these talented students, Texas A&M established the President’s Endowed Scholarship (PES) program. 

As one of the university’s most prestigious academic awards, the four-year scholarship is awarded to high school students with significant academic acumen and leadership experience. With this financial assistance, these Aggies are empowered to strive for success both during and after college. 

Continue reading for a brief history of the PES program and see what recipients have achieved since the award’s inception. 

1968: The Texas A&M Foundation launches the President’s Endowed Scholarship (PES) program, providing 20 inaugural Aggies with four-year scholarships.  

1976: The Houston A&M University Mothers’ Club funds a $25,000 PES by selling three different Aggie Moms’ cookbooks. 

Photos provided by Brad Worsham '88

1988: Brad Worsham ’88 joins the CIA, starting his intelligence career. After working with Lockheed Martin Missiles and Space and the National Reconnaissance Office, Worsham founded BIT Systems Inc. Since retiring from the intelligence community in 2014, he has served on the Texas A&M Aerospace Engineering Advisory Board and as an associate professor of practice. Motivated by a successful career, Worsham has supported Texas A&M in numerous ways, even funding his own PES. 

Photo provided by Daniel Sparks '89

1989: Daniel Sparks ’89 began his 19-year career at Goldman, Sachs & Co. after graduation. During his time with the firm, he worked in the fixed income trading business and became a partner and managing director, as well as serving as global head of the firm’s mortgage department and serving on the firm's risk committee. Sparks left in 2008 to own and manage the investment firm DLS Advisors before establishing Shelter Growth Capital Partners, where he currently serves as CEO and CIO. He’s given back to Texas A&M by serving as board member for the 12th Man Foundation and for organizations in the Mays Business School. He and his wife, Helen, funded a PES and other scholarships to financially support Texas A&M students, in addition to financially supporting Texas A&M in other ways.


1994: John Dacus ’72 and six other lawyers co-found Hartline Barger LLP, a law practice dedicated to client-focused attorney services. While at Texas A&M, Dacus served as Memorial Student Center (MSC) president, a position later occupied by his daughter, Elizabeth Dacus ’03. They are the only parent and child to both hold the title in university history. 

Right photo provided by Dr. Jay Franklin '78 '81

2005: Dr. Jay Franklin ’78 ’81 is named a “Texas Super Doctor” for his advanced work in electrophysiology and cardiology. Every year since, his name has appeared on the Texas Super Doctor list—a special advertising section of Texas Monthly. His success has allowed him to plan a gift to Texas A&M in his will that will establish four School of Medicine scholarships. 

2005: Nathan Day ’91 ’94 founds SoftLayer Technologies Inc., a cloud computing company. His technology was so influential that IBM acquired the company in 2013. Inspired to give back to Texas A&M, Day and his wife Gretchen ’95 later established their own PES to help other Aggies have the same chance for achievement. 

2006: Lt. Col. Charles Williams ’37 plans one of the Foundation’s largest PES bequests in his will, which later created more than 40 individual scholarships.  

2014: William “Bill” Davis ’75 co-founds Vaquero Midstream, a gas gathering and processing company, alongside Gary Conway ’91 and Bryant Patton. Davis's prior career at Crosstex Energy enabled him to successfully navigate the energy industry and build a name for himself. He and his wife, Cathy, have provided both an MBA fellowship and a business honors scholarship for Mays Business School students, while simultaneously supporting the MSC Renovation and Expansion project and the MSC Fall Leadership Conference. 

Right photo by Jim Lyle

2015: Stephen “Steve” Horn ’79 is honored as the namesake of the renovated MSC Flag Room. Now the managing partner at private equity firm Ronin Partners LLC., Horn has demonstrated a passion for the university throughout his time in Aggieland and beyond. During his college years, Horn was a distinguished student active in MSC organizations. He has since given millions to perpetuate these programs and support MSC renovations, as well as establish his own PES. He also supports scholarship programs in the College of Engineering, the Petroleum Engineering Department and University Honors. 

Photo by Heather Gallagher

2016: Dr. Travis Owens ’06 becomes engineering manager for Apple’s Touch and Sensing Product Design division. After attending Texas A&M, Owens pursued his master’s and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering at University of California at Berkeley. A brief stint at Pivotal Systems, a competitive start-up, equipped him to step into this leadership role at Apple. Since his own education was supported by a PES, Owens and his wife, Shan Wang, decided to continue the tradition. Through their employers’ corporate matching programs, the couple created the Wang and Owens ’06 Family President’s Endowed Scholarship to aid future Aggie engineers. 

Photos provided by The Batt (left) and Ross Stripling '12 (right)

2018: Thomas “Ross” Stripling ’12 is named an MLB All-Star Pitcher during a successful career with the Los Angeles Dodgers. While playing for Texas A&M, Stripling earned numerous All-American honors. Today, he pitches for the Toronto Blue Jays. 


Right photo by Josh Huskin

2020: Dr. Susan Rudd Bailey ’78 ’81 is elected as the 2020-21 American Medical Association president and subsequently named to Modern Healthcare’s Top 100 Most Influential Doctors in Health Care. Bailey was the first female student accepted into the Texas A&M School of Medicine inaugural class, striving to become a top allergist and medical advocate. This passion for healthcare carried over to her philanthropic life. To support the next generation of Aggie doctors, Bailey established the Susan Rudd Bailey, MD ’78 ’81 and Doug Bailey ’67 Endowed Scholarship for full-time medical students. 

2022:  Today, the PES program has supported more than 8,000 high-achieving students in the 54 years since it was first established. With a current endowment of $61.8 million, the program is poised to continue supporting the best and brightest as they impact Aggieland and beyond.

Ready to make your impact?

Check out our brochure to learn how you can make Aggieland a place for all through a President's Endowed Scholarship.