February 11, 2019

Patricia '93 and Dr. Edward McGruder '89 with their sons, Donovan and Chandler. 

Hailing from a long line of veterinarians, Edward Deorsey McGruder, D.V.M., Ph.D. ’89 entered Texas A&M University knowing where his career path would take him. Patricia Hollis McGruder, Esq.’93, on the other hand, came to see where her journey would lead. While each paved their own road as students, both Edward and Patricia embraced the Aggie Spirit during their college years, letting Texas A&M’s camaraderie and core values enhance their experience and prepare them for the future.

“It goes without saying that Texas A&M’s academics are challenging,” said Edward. “It’s one thing to get into Texas A&M, another thing to stay, and an entirely different thing to excel, but Patricia and I were both blessed with success. When you add leadership opportunities to its rigorous academics, the Aggie experience uniquely prepares students for life after college.”

Reminiscing over their college days, the couple knew they wanted to give back to their alma mater. The McGruders found that naming the Texas A&M Foundation as the beneficiary of a life insurance policy provided a simple and cost-effective method to give back to Texas A&M. After their lifetimes, the gift will establish a Foundation Excellence Award scholarship fund to support incoming African-American students from their former high schools.

The Foundation Excellence Award Program

Established in 1999, the Foundation Excellence Award program provides scholarships to outstanding undergraduate students from historically underrepresented groups. This includes minorities and students from economically and educationally disadvantaged backgrounds. Academic qualifications, extracurricular activities and financial need also are considered.

A $50,000 gift will establish an endowed FEA scholarship, which provides one student an annual stipend for four years and continues supporting a new student every four years. FEA gifts are tax-deductible and can be made in the form of cash, securities, planned gifts, real estate or other property.

We hope to leave a legacy with these scholarships for students to develop and nurture their purpose, attain academic excellence and cultivate diverse community engagement,” said Patricia.

During his years as a student, Edward enjoyed growing in community and leadership with his fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha. After meeting Patricia, however, he became known as the guy who was dating the girl who ran for Yell Leader and Miss Texas A&M 1993. As the first female to run, Patricia’s Yell Leader campaign focused on inclusiveness for the entire student body. “I came to Texas A&M for its culture and rich history, but the student engagement enriched my life,” she said. “I became a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority and will always be connected to my sisters to serve mankind. Texas A&M is a place where I explored and developed my purpose and platform in life.”

Through their gift, the McGruders hope to give students the opportunity to find themselves on their own Aggie journey. “When you journey through Texas A&M, the values and traditions of the university shape you in a positive way,” Edward said. “My advice to future students would be to keep your faith first, enjoy the journey and do what you’re passionate about. If so, the reward will come.”

To learn how naming the Texas A&M Foundation as the beneficiary of a life insurance policy can benefit you, your family and the university, contact Angela Throne ’03 in the Office of Gift Planning at athrone@txamfoundation.com or (979) 845-5638.​