October 8, 2019

Through four charitable gift annuities, Betty and Frank Thurmond '51 are supporting Aggie veterans, the Department of Construction Science, Silver Taps and the Corps of Cadets.

Long-time friends of Texas A&M University, Betty and Frank Thurmond ’51, are supporting the areas of the university they’re passionate about with four charitable gift annuities. Their gifts benefit Aggie veterans, the Department of Construction Science, Silver Taps and the Corps of Cadets, ensuring future students have opportunities to succeed.

“The charitable gift annuities provide us a monetary benefit for life while also supporting Texas A&M, but we don’t give back for the financial rewards or recognition,” Frank said. “We give back because we want to do something good for Texas A&M. It’s all because of our love for Aggies.”

The couple is excited to support students in the Corps and honor veterans pursuing a degree who sacrificed their education to serve in the military. Frank has been in the construction industry for the majority of his life and also sees a need for funding in the construction science department. Their gift will provide financial relief to students who choose to follow a profession in that industry. The Thurmonds’ endowment for Silver Taps will support Texas A&M’s time-honored tradition of recognizing students who pass away while enrolled at the university.

Frank often tells people, “I earned my degree from Texas A&M, but I got my education from the Corps.” He learned invaluable skills like leadership and respect, which he translated into his profession. His education was more than reading from a textbook; it was about absorbing life lessons. “You don’t learn those in the classroom,” he added. With the knowledge and skills gained from Texas A&M, Frank founded his own construction company in 1957, now called Bryan Construction Company.

Betty, a business graduate of Sam Houston State University, worked as a secretary for Frank’s growing business before moving to an accounting firm in Dallas. The two went their separate ways, enjoying long and loving marriages of their own. It wasn’t until both were widowed that they reconnected by chance and married in 2013, just in time for the Cotton Bowl where the Aggies triumphed over the Oklahoma Sooners. “When she found out I had Aggie football tickets, that sealed the deal!” Frank laughed.  

The Thurmonds want to make an everlasting impact on students’ lives and ensure they achieve their goals at Texas A&M. Along with their four annuities, the couple has created multiple other endowments, scholarships and funds for the university. “Supporting Texas A&M in so many ways makes us proud,” Frank said. “I don’t think I’d be where I am today without the help of the university.” 

Learn more about charitable gift annuities and other gifts that pay you income here.