September 4, 2015

Bobbie Jean and Corky Frank pose for a picture with the Fishin with Franks award recipients at a Texas A&M Foundation luncheon in their honor.

Sixteen students who attended Texas A&M University’s Fish Camp this summer have been randomly selected as recipients of the $1,000 “Fishin’ With Franks” awards.

Made possible through the generosity of an $18,000 donation to the Texas A&M Foundation by Bobbie Jean and Corky Frank of Sugar Land, Texas, the awards were given to two incoming freshmen at each of the seven Fish Camp sessions and two Fish Camp student leaders.

The funds will be applied to the students’ tuition and fees for the spring semester.

Recipients included Madison Benkovic, Kirsten Bowman, Frederic Chabbert-Nosek, Meghan Collier, Jordan Cooley, Jeffrey Cordero, Morgan Derrick, Lucero Escutia, Estefania Gracian, Hannah Koester, Benjamin Konetzke, Amanda Martindal, Jacob Murphy, Brady Preiss, Chase Stenholm and Christopher Wainerdi.

Fish Camp is a four-day orientation program in Palestine, Texas, that introduces incoming freshmen to Aggie traditions, fellow students and the Texas A&M academic experience. Any freshman who attended Fish Camp during summer 2015 and all Fish Camp student staff were eligible to apply for the award by filling out an online form.

“The transition from high school to college can be a difficult challenge,” said Corky Frank. “The programs and atmosphere at Fish Camp go a long way to smoothing this transition.”

The Franks also funded another gift to cover the $225 Fish Camp registration fee for 11 freshmen.

“Our hope is that students will recognize the great opportunities in front of them and commit to work hard during their college years to gain a quality education,” said Bobbie Jean Frank.

While attending Fish Camp session E in August, the Franks had the opportunity to interact with students and experience the program firsthand.

“They all did an excellent job and I was very impressed,” said Frank. “Fish Camp is one of Texas A&M’s crown jewels and a tradition that deserves more recognition and praise.”

For recipient Kirsten Bowman, Fish Camp was an impactful learning experience as a freshman from out-of-state.

“Fish Camp helped me learn about the traditions of Texas A&M and helped me build friendships within my camp and discussion group,” said Bowman. “More important, it proved to me that I made the right decision in choosing Texas A&M as my future home for the next four years.”

A luncheon on Sept. 11 at the Texas A&M Foundation’s Jon L. Hagler Center will allow the Franks to meet recipients of the award.

Corky Frank graduated in 1958 from Texas A&M with a petroleum engineering degree. He went to work for Marathon Oil Co. and later Marathon Petroleum Co., where he served as president for 16 years. The Frank family moved 22 times over the course of his career, exploring different cultures in the United States, Indonesia, Ireland and England.

Texas A&M Foundation 
The Texas A&M Foundation is a nonprofit organization that solicits and manages investments in academics and leadership programs to enhance Texas A&M’s capability to be among the best universities. 

For additional information and photographs, please contact Monika Blackwell at or (979) 845-7468.