October 7, 2019

Amy '91 and Robert Bacon '91 have created a planned gift through a testamentary unitrust, or "give it twice" trust, to support students who participate in the Conway-Fitzhugh International Honors Leadership Seminar and the Leland T. and Jessie W. Jordan Institute for International Awareness.

When talking to Amy ’91 and Robert Bacon ’91, it doesn’t take long to realize that Texas A&M University is a major part of their lives. No matter the topic, the conversation always seems to find its way back to their alma mater. “We are constantly reminded of the experiences and opportunities given to us during our time as students,” Amy said. “Meeting other Aggies and finding those new connections built on a common love for Texas A&M is something we treasure and want to encourage in the next generation of Aggies.” 

The couple’s love for Texas A&M motivated them to think about ways they could further the school’s tradition of excellence. To show gratitude for the years of irreplaceable experiences and personal development they experienced at the university, the Bacons created a planned gift through a testamentary unitrust, or “give it twice” trust, to benefit future Aggies. This is a unique method of giving that allows donors to use an asset—such as retirement accounts in the Bacons’ case—to fund a trust after their lifetimes. Invested by the Texas A&M Foundation, the Bacon’s trust will then make annual lifetime payments to their daughter, Ellie ’21.

At the termination of the trust, their gift will support students who participate in international experiences through the Conway-Fitzhugh International Honors Leadership Seminar and the Leland T. and Jessie W. Jordan Institute for International Awareness. Both housed in the Memorial Student Center (MSC), the Conway-Fitzhugh seminar takes a select group of incoming freshmen to Italy for a two-week leadership experience, while the Jordan Institute facilitates international programming on campus as well as internship and living abroad programs. Additional funds from their gift will support a Regents’ Scholarship and various engineering, business and liberal arts scholarships.


Publishing Her Passions

Aside from being a dedicated gift planning officer for the Texas A&M Foundation, Amy Bacon ’91 is the proud author of two books about Texas A&M history, both published by Texas A&M University Press. Her first book, “Building Leaders, Living Traditions,” explores the history of the MSC and its programs as a campus centerpiece from 1950 onward.

The second book, “Life in Bronze: Lawrence M. Ludtke, Sculptor” provides an inside look into the life of prominent Texas sculptor Lawrence Ludtke. After meeting Ludtke as a student, Bacon immediately became fascinated by his work and felt inspired to write about his contributions to sculptures on Texas A&M’s campus and throughout the country. His work on campus includes the James Earl Rudder sculpture, Danger 79er to honor Lt. Gen. James F. Hollingsworth ’40, Arch 406, which depicts an architecture student and his dog, and the bronze bas reliefs of the Aggie Congressional Medal of Honor recipients in the Sanders Corps of Cadets Center.  

Aggies Abroad

As the Bacons began thinking of areas to support, they reflected on their own time as students and how much they attribute their success to their MSC involvement. Amy studied abroad as a student while at Texas A&M and served on the MSC Council, developing leadership skills as an undergraduate. Although Robert didn’t study abroad, he saw how positively international experiences impacted Amy and gained a passion for travel as well. Both decided to link this appreciation for international experiences with their love of the MSC and the global community focus of these two programs.

The Bacons also recognize that international experiences can set students apart in the competitive workforce, something Robert has seen the benefits of directly through his position as the site and operations manager at the ExxonMobil Chemical - Baytown Technology & Engineering Complex. They hope their scholarships encourage more students to take advantage of these opportunities. “We hope that the Aggies who receive our scholarships enter the world as confident young adults ready to make their own Aggie connections,” Robert said.

Staying Engaged

MSC Director Luke Altendorf knew Amy and Robert as students and wasn’t surprised to see them giving back. “They have always valued interactions with different cultures and supported the MSC’s mission,” he said. “Their gift is a tangible way for the MSC to continue producing leaders.”

Knowing that their future gift will benefit the development of students like their daughter, who has also been involved in the MSC, is extremely fulfilling. “We are passionate about promoting international experiences because when combined with the values of leadership instilled in every Aggie, it leads to impactful future leaders,” Amy said. “For us, giving back not only gives us the opportunity to show our gratitude for the impact of those experiences, but also the opportunity to stay engaged with the university and most importantly, benefit students.”

To learn more about making a planned gift through your estate, contact Angela Throne ’03 at athrone@txamfoundation.com or (979) 845-5638.