August 1, 2022

Daniel Singletary’s decision to fund future student scholarships through a planned gift crystalized during the 2021 football season when he was charging his mobility scooter in The Association of Former Students’ main hall. “This couple with kids came up right next to me and searched the wall. They said, ‘Don’t mind us, we’re looking for a name,’” Singletary recalled. “Then they said, ‘Oh, there’s Great-Great Grandpa!’ That moment was really cool for those parents to be able to share with their children the story of their relative who gave back to the university. The idea of giving back all became clear to me at that moment: A gift for Texas A&M University is going to help students for generations to come.” 

Beyond planning his gift, the 39-year-old Class of 2019 Masters of Educational Technology graduate had already committed to a life of service. After complications from spinal surgery upended his dreams of serving in the military after high school, Singletary continued to focus on helping others. During the past two decades, he has supported first responders, provided tech support for Apple customers, developed some of Texas A&M’s foundational web platforms and shared his technology expertise with the Texas A&M Foundation's team.

Each of those experiences guided Singletary’s planned gift through the Texas A&M Foundation. His secondary $100,000 life insurance policy will eventually create four $25,000 scholarships: a Sul Ross Scholarship for the Corps of Cadets; an Aggie Veteran Honor Scholarship; and two graduate scholarships for students enrolled in the College of Education and Human Development’s Educational Psychology program.

From Tech Support to Trainer

Observing the growing career opportunities in technology, the first-generation college student enrolled in Liberty University’s online program in 2012. He earned a bachelor’s degree in information technology with a minor in game design in 2017.

Midway into his college studies, Singletary was hired for a tech support job at Apple and relocated to the company’s corporate office in Austin, Texas. “Working on the degree in information technology gave me the courage to apply to Apple and the drive to want to work for a Silicon Valley-based company,” he said.

He was quickly promoted, reaching senior tech support advisor for Mac and iOS. “At Apple, I was mesmerized by how they trained people,” he said. “I didn’t know what the theories were or what the science was; I just knew there were ways that I could motivate people to learn technological concepts.”

Within a few years, Singletary wanted to better understand the theory and science of training and decided to pursue a graduate degree. He found the perfect fit—and a chance to earn his Aggie Ring—through the online educational technology master’s program offered by Texas A&M’s College of Education and Human Development’s Department of Educational Psychology.

The idea of giving back all became clear to me at that moment: A gift for Texas A&M University is going to help students for generations to come.
Daniel Singletary '19

He left his job at Apple and moved to College Station for the full college experience. He found a graduate student assistant position with the Department of Information Technology in Texas A&M’s Division of Student Affairs. One of his assignments was working on the team that created the Aggie Veteran Network for the then-nascent Don and Ellie Knauss Veterans Resource & Support Center (VRSC). “Daniel was instrumental in exponentially expanding the VRSC’s ability to connect our Aggie student veterans with each other, local resources and high-impact opportunities to facilitate their success,” said retired U.S. Marine Corps Col. Gerald L. Smith ’82, who serves as VRSC director. “He helped Texas A&M create a new best practice to truly serve well those who have served!”

After completing his master’s degree, Singletary worked as Mays Business School’s digital systems architect before joining the Texas A&M Foundation as a technical trainer. Today, he is furthering his understanding of technology and learning theory through Boise State University’s Educational Technology doctoral program, while using his talents in his new role with Texas A&M AgriLife. “I’m able to use my degrees from Texas A&M, Liberty and now Boise State to support my current career of training others,” he said. “I plan to use my career with AgriLife to invest my knowledge and learning back into the organization and its people.”

Easing the Burden

Looking back at his progression through higher education, Singletary noted that he never had the financial resources to focus his complete attention on school. “I always had to work, so that was part of the reason that I’ve planned to give to others in the way that I have,” he said. “That’s also why I want to support first-generation students. I know what they are going through, especially those who are working their way through college by waitressing, working at the car wash or doing whatever they can to pay for their education.”

The former student is one of a growing number of recent graduates making a gift through the Texas A&M Foundation to financially support future generations of Aggies as they earn their degrees. “Donors are the lifeblood of our scholarship program, and their generosity can change the path of students’ lives,” said retired Army Sgt. Maj. Donald Freeman, who serves as VRSC assistant director. “Daniel understood that early on and wanted to provide as much impact as he could possibly provide. This is a nod to our Aggie core values and reminds us that it’s never too early to serve others.”

Ready to make a commitment to serve future Aggies with the gift of education? Contact planned giving professional Kelly Corcoran ’95 at the bottom of this page.