February 20, 2017

Philanthropist Jon L. Hagler has made a $20 million gift through the Texas A&M Foundation to support the Texas A&M University Institute for Advanced Study.

Texas A&M University has announced that its Texas A&M University Institute for Advanced Study will be renamed the Hagler Institute for Advanced Study at Texas A&M University in honor of Jon L. Hagler, a 1958 graduate of the university. Already a long-standing benefactor, Hagler has made a $20 million commitment to the university.

Hagler’s gift will provide endowment funding for the institute, the income of which will be used to attract and support academic visionaries from around the world. These scholars and leaders will continue to elevate the national reputation of Texas A&M. Additional funding allows the institute to continue providing a gateway for esteemed academics to encourage groundbreaking research and support students in their quest for knowledge. Hagler is contributing the gift in two parts, with the second part distributed through his estate as a planned gift. He has already funded a substantial portion of his gift.

“The Hagler Institute for Advanced Study will continue to elevate the quality, impact and reputation of Texas A&M on national and international playing fields,” said Texas A&M President Michael K. Young. “Jon’s gift will ensure the permanency, stability and future growth of this prestigious endeavor.”

Hagler’s gift contributes significantly to the goals of the Lead by Example campaign and will have a wide-ranging impact on the Institute for Advanced Study. Established in 2010 with the appointment of John Junkins as director, the institute annually invites national academy and Nobel-caliber academic talent to the university through a fellowship program. These fellows collaborate with faculty and students on cutting-edge research, enrich the academic environment in the classroom, and offer public lectures that enhance the intellectual atmosphere of the community.

 “I have a profound and longstanding belief in the power of education and the institutions that generate knowledge,” said Hagler. “I don’t think there’s anything more important to successful democracy or advancing civilization than institutions of education.”

Hagler’s gift joins contributions of other donors who have put their confidence in the institute. At the inception of the program, Chancellor John Sharp made a five-year commitment of $5.2 million to launch the institute. Additional funding for the institute comes from the university and through private support. Junkins, who has also supported the institute through his estate, said Hagler’s gift symbolizes the transformative potential of the institute.

“Over the last few years, we have seen the institute develop from a promising idea to a burgeoning reality—one that has the capacity for dramatic elevation of the quality and reputation of Texas A&M,” said Junkins, who is also distinguished professor of aerospace engineering. “By creating the Hagler Institute, Jon’s endowment will carry the torch forward, accelerating the institute forward in its mission to be a cornerstone of excellence at Texas A&M that will enhance the university in perpetuity.”

A longtime philanthropist to Texas A&M, Hagler’s past gifts include support for the Corps of Cadets; the Memorial Student Center and its programs; The Association of Former Students; the Foundation Excellence Awards program, which provides scholarships for historically underrepresented students; and a lead gift to build and name the Jon L. Hagler Center, headquarters of the Texas A&M Foundation.

Hagler’s name is well-known on the Texas A&M campus because of the philanthropist’s remarkable generosity. In 2015, the College of Education & Human Development presented him with an honorary doctorate. Hagler is also the namesake of the Texas A&M Foundation’s headquarters, and he served in leadership positions for two Texas A&M campaigns. He was also co-chair of the landmark Vision 2020: Creating a Culture of Excellence campaign, during which time he led the Vision 2020 advisory council.

“Jon is an esteemed partner of the Texas A&M Foundation and Texas A&M University,” said Tyson Voelkel, president of the Texas A&M Foundation. “Not only has he supported the university with great generosity, he has also served as one of our greatest friends by envisioning the brightest possible future for Texas A&M and playing a prominent role in carrying out that vision.”

Hagler entered Texas A&M from La Grange, Texas, and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics before earning an MBA from Harvard University in 1963. His extensive background in economics and business led to success in his professional career.

He is the founder of the investment firms Jennison Associates LLC and Hagler, Mastrovita & Hewitt. He also served as treasurer and chief investment officer for the Ford Foundation before taking a position as a partner at Grantham, Mayo, Van Otterloo & Co. LLC. Today, he is retired and resides in Dover, Massachusetts, just outside of Boston.

The Hagler Institute for Advanced Study at Texas A&M University

In its first four years, under Junkins’ leadership, the institute has brought 35 Faculty Fellows to Texas A&M. A fifth class of fellows, a group of 10 world-renowned scholars, will be inducted at a gala later this month. The 2016/2017 fellows are:

  • Christopher C. Cummins from Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Ingrid Daubechies from Duke University
  • Gerald Galloway from University of Maryland
  • Huajian Gao from Brown University
  • Maryellen Giger from University of Chicago
  • Robert Kennicutt Jr. from University of Cambridge (UK)
  • Charles E. Kolb from Aerodyne Research Inc.
  • V. Kumar from Georgia State University
  • William M. Sage from The University of Texas
  • Thomas S. Ulen from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

For more information about the Hagler Institute, please visit hias.tamu.edu.

“Lead by Example” Campaign

Launched in 2015, Texas A&M University’s third comprehensive fundraising campaign, “Lead by Example,” is a joint effort between Texas A&M and its affiliate organizations: the Texas A&M Foundation, The Association of Former Students, the 12th Man Foundation and the George Bush Presidential Library Foundation. With a goal of $4 billion, it is the largest higher education campaign in Texas history and the second largest conducted nationally by a public university. The campaign will generate gifts in three major areas: Transformational Learning; Discovery and Innovation; and Impact on the State, Nation and World.

From now through 2020, former students and friends are uniting with our faculty and staff in the campaign to enhance Texas A&M’s ability to tackle real-world problems—such as the global demand for energy and the advancement of human and animal health—while also preparing future generations of uniquely qualified leaders. For more information about the campaign, visit leadbyexample.tamu.edu.