Bret Baccus ’89 credits his successful career to the strong academics and student experiences at Texas A&M and the Mays Business Fellows Program. He has now established a gift that will fund a Foundation Excellence Award and support the Mays Fellows Program that made such an impact on him.

Bret Baccus ’89 has seen his professional career include positions in both internationally- recognized accounting firms, such as PricewaterhouseCoopers and Arthur Anderson, and smaller startups. He’s also found ways to use his business knowledge to serve a variety of nonprofits in his adopted home of Houston, including Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston, Career and Recovery Resources, and the Houston chapter of the Human Rights Campaign. 

Ultimately, Baccus credits Texas A&M University for helping him be prepared for each of these opportunities. “Texas A&M gave me a strong academic foundation and student experiences that created the basis for me to have a very successful career,” he said.

Now the managing director of global legal services company, Morae Global Corp., Baccus is committing part of his estate through a bequest to help future Aggies have the same opportunities that meant so much to him as a student. His gift will establish the Bret Baccus ’89 Foundation Excellence Award and support Mays Business School’s Business Fellows Program.

Participating Fully

Baccus’s family had a tradition of attending public universities and state schools. Following in their footsteps, Baccus considered attending Texas A&M and The University of Texas at Austin as well as a few private colleges.

It was his initial trip to Aggieland that swayed his decision. “It was the overwhelming student friendliness that was pervasive on campus,” he said. “The cultural expectation that everyone participate fully in campus life also really drew me to the school. I wanted to be somewhere where everybody was genuinely friendly and engaged.”

Dominic Johnson '19 is a chemical engineering major and a current recipient of a Foundation Excellence Award. He is the kind of student that Bret Baccus '89 hopes to support with his gift.

The native of Amarillo knew he wanted to major in business but wasn’t initially sure where to focus his studies. That changed when he took a business analysis class as part of the Center for Management of Information Systems (CMIS) with Dr. Louise Darcey ’74. “She sketched out programming language on the projector, and I just loved that class,” he said. “I remember that first introductory lecture and picked my major that day because of her class.” The CMIS program has since remained a part of Baccus's life since he recruited Aggies from the program and served as an advisory board member.

Another turning point came when he joined the Mays Business Fellows Program, a management development program that included lectures, field trips, career development opportunities and internships. “It was a bit of a mini-MBA program. The Fellows gave me the leg up and provided the professional foundation for my career,” Baccus said, adding that he also made lifelong friends through the program.

SUPPORTING THE FUTURE

Not surprisingly, Baccus wants to help future Aggies have access to these types of opportunities. Baccus entered Texas A&M on a scholarship that defrayed the cost of his education. “That scholarship covered my tuition and fees,” he said. “Through creating the FEA scholarship, I’m giving back what I was given and supporting future generations of Aggies.”

Dominic Johnson ’19, chemical engineering major and current FEA recipient, is exactly the kind of student Baccus hopes to support in the future. As the oldest of five children, the Houston native realized early in life that his family didn’t have the means to send him to college. So in high school, he focused on factors that could help him earn his way to a higher education: good grades, service activities and leadership opportunities. 

The Foundation Excellence Award: Dominic Johnson

Dominic Johnson '19 didn't think he would be able to go to college. Then one day, he received a Foundation Excellence Award created by the Hamill Foundation through the Texas A&M Foundation, and his fate was forever changed. These scholarships are awarded to recipients who have not only demonstrated significant academic achievement and leadership, but also have overcome economic, social or educational disadvantages. To learn more about how you can support students like Dominic through a Foundation Excellence Award, contact Al Pulliam '87 at apulliam@txamfoundation.com.

His hard work paid off in 2015 when he received an FEA scholarship which allowed him to attend Texas A&M without worrying about finances. “This scholarship gives me a chance,” Johnson said. “It’s taught me to believe in myself and that other people believe in me too.”

Baccus also earmarked a portion of his bequest for the Mays Business Fellows Program. This premier undergraduate professional development program is designed to build each fellow’s capacity as an exceptional leader in today’s global society. The program involves an initial retreat, classroom experiences, teamwork on case studies and projects, and contribution to ongoing community service. To be selected, Mays students must be a junior or senior and have a 3.5 GPA or higher. They also must be self-disciplined and effective team players.

Giving a bequest is one of the easiest ways to leave a legacy at Texas A&M. A bequest allows a donor to continue to access assets during his or her lifetime and limits the tax burden placed on a family after the donor passes away. A bequest can be made through a gift of a percentage of the donor’s estate, a specific asset, or the balance or residue of the estate.

Ultimately, Baccus believes these types of gifts benefit Texas as much as individual students. “These types of gifts ensure that Texas A&M is providing the best and strongest education possible,” he said. “We can improve the state for generations by continuing to improve the academics and caliber of people that Texas A&M educates.”

To learn how you can support Texas A&M through a planned gift, contact Angela Throne ’03 at athrone@txamfoundation.com or 979-845-5638 or request a free estate and gift planning kit.

FEA Scholarships Help Texas A&M Recruit Underrepresented Students

Foundation Excellence Award (FEA) scholarships are the best way to support outstanding undergraduates who are often underrepresented on campus. Established two decades ago, the FEA program helps Texas A&M recruit and retain these students, which include minorities and students from economically and/or educationally disadvantaged backgrounds.

A tax-deductible $50,000 gift endows one FEA scholarship, which provides an undergraduate student with an annual stipend. At the end of that time, the scholarship will be awarded to another deserving student.

FEAs can be established through a gift of cash, securities, planned gifts, real estate or other real property. In addition, many individuals use their employers’ matching gift program to support the creation of an FEA.

Contact:

Angela Throne '03

Business Operations Manager
Office of Gift Planning
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