October 16, 2017

Anne and Henry “Hank” Paup ’70 have a passion for Texas A&M University and the law profession —a passion that inspired them to invest in the Texas A&M School of Law’s future with the institution’s first dean’s scholarship.

The Anne S. and Henry B. Paup First Endowed Dean’s Scholarship was established in 2014 through a $125,000 gift from the Paups to the Texas A&M Foundation. Their gift was matched by funds from the university to create a $250,000 endowment. Funds from the endowment provide scholarships to full-time students in good standing pursuing law degrees.

The Paup's generosity and passion for Texas A&M University called them to establish the first dean’s scholarship for the Texas A&M School of Law, which helps attract top students and allows them to hone their craft. 

The Paups reside in the law school’s home city of Fort Worth, where Hank practices law. The couple met because of Hank’s pursuit of a law degree: He attended Texas A&M as an undergraduate but met Anne while he was a law student at Southern Methodist University, where she was an undergraduate.

“Hank was a first-year law student when I met him at a mixer with my sorority,” Anne said. “He needed a date for an upcoming law school dance, and that ended up being our first date. After we both graduated in May 1973, we married later that year on Sept. 1, 1973."

Before he attended law school, Hank said his experiences at Texas A&M—particularly his participation in the Corps of Cadets—helped shape his life for years to come. He was a distinguished student and a distinguished military graduate, as well as a walk-on for the Texas A&M swimming team, where he was a three-time letterman and set the school record for the mile swim at the 1969 Southwest Conference Championship. Within the Corps of Cadets, he was First Sergeant in his outfit, as well as Company Commander and a Ross Volunteer.

“There were few girls at Texas A&M when I was there, so my activities were limited to what I call the three S’s: soldiering, studying and swimming,” Hank laughed. “I gained discipline, loyalty, leadership and camaraderie from those three ventures and learned skills and lessons that ultimately molded my life.”

The Paups have two children who also attended Texas A&M—Spivey Johnson Paup ’01 and Robbie Jane Paup Pope ’07. Spivey carried on Hank’s legacy as First Sergeant and commander of his outfit in the Corps of Cadets. Robbie Jane was also a member and officer of her Tri Delta sorority. The Paups’ two grown children and their families reside in Austin, or as Hank calls it, the city “behind the orange curtain.”

When Texas A&M acquired its law school in 2013, the Paups were glad to see a law program introduced into The Texas A&M University System and were eager to help the cause. “I was thrilled when Texas A&M acquired our law school in Fort Worth,” Hank said. “We now have a top-tier medical school, and I wanted to help promote our law school to achieve that same distinction.”

While the law school is relatively young compared to other longstanding institutions across the nation, Hank is confident in its ability to continue its rise to prominence and believes competitive graduate programs like the law program will allow Texas A&M to continue to attract the best students. He has lofty expectations for the school’s future and believes they can be achieved sooner rather than later.

“From out of nowhere, the Texas A&M School of Law has recently cracked the Top 100 Law Schools in the U.S. News & World Report rankings,” Hank said. “My hope is that it climbs within the Top 50 schools in the next five to ten years.”

Hank is confident that the law school can achieve this goal if it maintains uncompromising standards and stellar leadership. “Getting into the Top 50 will be difficult against the nation’s historically-strong law schools,” Hank said. “Critical to this are two things: achieving an outstanding area of specialization and having the right dean take over.”

The Paups are grateful for the assistance and encouragement of Myke Holt and Brian Bishop '91, Texas A&M Foundation development staff, in creating their gift. They hope their support will aid the School of Law in obtaining these distinctions, as well as attract students that could not or would not have attended otherwise.

“We hope this scholarship attracts top-tier students who rely on academic scholarships,” Hank said. “Scholastic debt is very challenging. This scholarship will allow those students to minimize student loan debt and focus on their professional paths.”

While the law profession is financially rewarding, the Paups hope their scholarship can bring students who are motivated to help others through the law profession to study at the School of Law. “Law is a profession, not a ticket to riches,” Hank said. “If you are in it for the money, don’t do it. Do it to serve others. That’s what I’d like prospective students to know.”

The Paups have also made generous gifts to benefit the Corps of Cadets, the Texas A&M Swimming & Diving teams, the Letterman's Lounge at the renovated Kyle Field honoring swimming, and the Department of Horticultural Sciences, which is what their daughter Robbie Jane studied. The couple has strived to support every area of the university that has made an impact in their family’s lives.

“Anne and I have just continued to support the three S’s—soldiering, studying and swimming—like I did back when I was at Texas A&M,” Hank said. “We hope our gifts will continue to work toward the betterment of the university.”

The School of Law hopes to offer every eligible student a law scholarship. You can create a Dean’s Scholarship with a $62,500 gift and leverage your gift with the university’s limited-time 1:1 match to create a $125,000 endowment.