Reta Haynes, of San Rafael, Calif., has committed a $10 million planned gift to create a merit-based scholarship program for Texas A&M University students. Her gift to the Texas A&M Foundation, funded by an individual retirement account (IRA), will establish the Reta and H.J. (Bill) Haynes (1946) University Scholarship Fund. It will create a permanent endowment to fund four-year, full scholarships to promising undergraduate freshmen with strong backgrounds in academics and leadership. Students receiving this scholarship will be called Haynes Scholars.

A $10 million planned gift from Reta Haynes creates a merit-based scholarship program that will support dozens of high-caliber undergraduates in the future. 

Criteria for remaining a Haynes Scholar include maintaining a 3.0 GPR, successfully completing 30 semester credit hours per year (including summers) and in all respects remaining in good standing with the university. The scholarship will be open to all majors at Texas A&M.

“Texas A&M has always been known for producing leaders of character,” said Texas A&M President R. Bowen Loftin. “This full, four-year scholarship -- available to students in all disciplines -- underscores the Haynes family’s ongoing commitment to preparing the next generation of leaders for Texas and the world. We are grateful for this generous support.”

In order to use an IRA for the Haynes University Scholarship Fund, Haynes designated the Texas A&M Foundation as beneficiary. This eliminated any tax implications on these funds, allowing her to allot the full $10 million for student scholarships.

The Foundation will manage the Haynes University Scholarship endowment by investing monies from the fund and disbursing a part of the earnings as scholarships. By using only earnings from the investment, the Haynes University Scholarship endowment will remain forever as a funding source for this merit-based scholarship program.

Education is one of three areas Bill and Reta Haynes focused their philanthropy when they established a family foundation in 1999. In a 2008 Spirit magazine article, Bill Haynes, former CEO of Chevron Corporation, said “I think our economy and our political structure is dependent on a steady stream of educated people. My wife and I feel strongly about that.”

They had made endowment gifts to President’s Endowed Scholars program and a gift for a graduate fellowship in engineering before his passing in 2009.

For the past two years Mrs. Haynes has given more than $2.5 million to the university for Corps of Cadets 21st Century Scholarships, a learning community for teacher education students, graduate support in engineering and an endowment supporting activities of the Singing Cadets.

“So many of the values that I hold dear -including leadership, integrity, honesty, and humility – are reinforced at Texas A&M,” Haynes said. “I’m so pleased to be able to provide this scholarship opportunity to generations of young people who choose to come to Texas A&M for their undergraduate studies. I know that Bill would be very supportive of my decision.”

Their 31-year history of giving to Texas A&M also includes two faculty chairs in geosciences, support for the Reta and Bill Haynes ’46 Coastal Engineering Laboratory, and the Haynes Ring Plaza outside the Clayton Williams Alumni Center. In 2007 personal and corporate friends honored Haynes by funding the $3.6 million the Harold J. Haynes Dean’s Chair in Engineering.

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