February 10, 2021

It was Friday night of Mardi Gras weekend 2008, but neither Don Boyle ’08 nor Kathryn Perry ’11 was feeling very festive. Kathryn’s date had stood her up, so she found herself wandering the aisles of Randall’s grocery store where she witnessed Don agonizing over peanut butter options. It was clear he needed her help.

The Boyles' gift will support veterans like Justin McDonald '24, who served in the U.S. Army as a sergeant for the 2nd Battalion, 27th Infantry Regiment for five years before becoming an Aggie.

Having never met, the Texas A&M University at Galveston students recognized each other and learned they had a lot in common. They were older than their peers, and neither was a Texan: She grew up in Indiana, while he was from Virginia. She had already served in the Coast Guard and as an able-bodied seaman for the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. He was a former Army Airborne Ranger and had served as an infantry squad leader during combat in Iraq.

And rather than bleeding maroon, each was attending Texas A&M Galveston solely to gain the degrees needed to further their careers—a bachelor’s degree in marine transportation for Kathryn and in maritime administration for Don.

“I didn’t know much about Texas A&M before I attended Galveston,” Kathryn said. “As a freshman, I was just focused on getting through. By my senior year, I was Corps commander and very proud to be an Aggie.”

Today, the Boyles live in Richmond, Virginia, where Kathryn cares for their son, while Don is a project manager for Oceaneering International Inc. But Don feels his true calling in life is to be an advocate for combat veterans.

With this in mind, the Boyles made the Texas A&M Foundation beneficiary of their life insurance policy. After their lifetimes, the policy will fund their endowment to provide support for undergraduate students at Galveston, with preference for military combat veterans.

“We weren’t financially prepared to fund an endowment right now, this month or even this year,” Don explained. “We wanted to give, but over a longer time frame. When we learned it was possible to make a planned gift with life insurance, we seized the opportunity.”

To the Boyles, leading by example brings to mind various aspects of their military experiences. But they hope their example of planned giving will also show their scholarship recipients the kind of legacy that can result from a life well-lived. “Kathryn and I made our end-of-life plans within a year of marriage,” Don concluded. “If this scholarship can serve as a learning opportunity for young people about the importance of long-term financial planning, I think that will be an added benefit.”

To learn how to support future Texas A&M University at Galveston students with a planned gift, please contact Amy Bacon '91 by completing the form below.

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