October 7, 2019

Glen Hunt Jr. '61 established two endowed scholarships for Aggie Band members in memory of his wife, Mary Angela Palm. Later, he established a series of IRA planned gifts through his estate to fund a scholarship for aerospace engineering students and another endowed scholarship for Aggie Band members. 

Glen Hunt III ’82 was 14 years old when his father, Glen Hunt Jr. ’61, took him and his brother to a local joint to watch the Aggies play their annual football game against their rival Longhorns. It was November 28, 1975, and the trio had spent Thanksgiving break deer hunting outside the rural West Texas town of Ozona. Texas A&M University and The University of Texas at Austin’s football teams were ranked No. 2 and No. 5 in the nation, respectively, and the Hunts weren’t going to miss the game for the world. 

Hunt Jr. and his teenage sons hooted and hollered after every Aggie touchdown, and their enthusiasm had a curious effect on the sleepy bar. “Over the course of an hour or two, a whole bunch of folks wandered in, most of them from out of state,” Hunt III remembered. As more and more patrons joined around the TV, legendary running back Bubba Bean led Texas A&M to a 20-10 victory. “By the end of the game, my dad had everybody in there rooting for the Aggies.”

This is how Hunt III remembers his father that day: sipping a Pearl beer in a Hill Country dive as he invited total strangers to gather around a fuzzy television set and share in his love for Texas A&M, if only for four quarters. Hunt Jr. was an Aggie of his own generation. He was humble and hardworking; outspoken, yet never craving the spotlight. When it was his time to go, he left as quietly as he lived. But even if they don’t know it, future generations will hear his legacy when trumpets play proudly from the heart of Kyle Field.

A True Texan

As a teenager in the late ’50s, Hunt Jr. was working for a boat repair shop in Galveston, Texas, when his boss approached him with life-changing advice. Hunt Jr. had shown early proficiency with machines, and his boss recognized in him a gift for mechanics. “You’re a smart kid,” his boss said. “You don’t need to fix boats for the rest of your life.” He suggested that Hunt Jr. enroll at Texas A&M and earn an engineering degree. Though he had only a vague understanding of what the college experience entailed, Hunt Jr. took his boss’ advice, moved to College Station and studied aeronautical engineering (now aerospace engineering). He was the first in his family to earn a college degree.

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After graduation, Hunt Jr. started an industrious career as a contract engineer doing structural design work on aircraft for companies around the world. While working one such contract in St. Louis, Missouri, in the early ’80s, he met second his wife, Mary Angela Palm.

“My dad was a crusty old Texan,” described Hunt III. “There’s no other way to couch it.” Hunt Jr. was a big game hunter with an almost spiritual fondness for the Old West who participated in “cowboy action shooting,” a Western-style competitive shooting sport. Throughout the years, he wrote a series of humorous letters to Texas Monthly’s “Texanist” column and even to Texas A&M faculty complaining about perceived intrusions upon what he considered the quintessential Texan lifestyle. He walked the walk and talked the talk, and he took pride in where he came from. In the back of his mind, though, he always felt he needed to repay a debt to his home.


Whenever Hunt Jr. drove to an Aggie football game, Palm always joined, though she hardly ever paid attention to the action on the field. She attended games for one reason and one reason only: Come halftime, she would stand up in anticipation for the arrival of the nationally famous Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band. For 10 minutes every game, Palm gave the band her undivided attention as they stepped off, marched, criss-crossed and painted elaborate patterns on their grassy canvas. After they ran off the field, Palm would promptly excuse herself and let Hunt Jr. watch the rest of the game while she read a book outside the Memorial Student Center.

The first in his family to earn a college degree, Glen Hunt Jr. '61 came to Aggieland and studied aeronautical engineering (now aerospace engineering). He was a big game hunter with a fondness for the Old West.

Palm passed away in 2012 at age 64. A year later, Hunt Jr. gave $50,000 to establish his first major gifts to Texas A&M: two endowed scholarships for Aggie Band members in Palm’s name. Upon the completion of the new Music Activities Center, the funds from one of these gifts will transfer to name a practice room after Palm. In 2016, Hunt Jr. contracted terminal cancer. After he was diagnosed, he moved quickly to establish a series of IRA planned gifts through his estate to fund a scholarship for aerospace engineering students and another endowed scholarship for band members.

Hunt Jr. gave partly as a tribute to his late wife, but also out of a deep-seated appreciation for the university and the people there who supported him. Hunt III especially remembers his father’s gratitude toward the late owner of Loupot’s Bookstore, Judson E. Loupot ’32 (aka “Old Army Lou”), who lent Hunt Jr. textbooks when he couldn’t afford to pay upfront. “He just never forgot that kindness,” Hunt III said. “He always considered College Station to be the center of the universe.”

Senior Associate Director of the Aggie Band Col. Jay Brewer ’81 attested to his gifts’ impact. “Generous gifts like Mr. Hunt’s make such a huge and positive difference in the lives and educational pursuits of our bandsmen,” he said. “Both the Mary Angela Palm Memorial Band scholarships supporting the new Music Activities Center and the Mary Angela Palm and Glen L. Hunt ’61 Aggie Band scholarship will make a lasting impact on our instrumental, stringed and choral groups’ success here in Aggieland. These are true examples of love for Texas A&M and its students.”

When Hunt Jr. passed away in August 2017, there wasn’t a newspaper obituary. He didn’t leave behind a large public following or even an online presence. His family knew about his planned gifts to Texas A&M, but he spoke of them offhandedly without any expectation for applause or recognition. Because of his gifts, however, countless students’ lives will be changed either by scholarships they receive or the music those recipients make. How he was remembered didn’t matter to him as much as the good that he left behind. Hunt Jr. didn’t need fanfare. He just needed to know that the band would play on long after his song ended.

To learn more about making a planned gift, contact Angela Throne ’03 at athrone@txamfoundation.com or 979-845-5638To contribute a major gift of $25,000 or more to the Music Activities Center, contact Cindy Munson ’99, senior director of major gifts, at cmunson@txamfoundation.com or 979-845-7558. Give online at give.am/SupportAggieMusic.