February 10, 2021

The Housers enjoying a Nepal adventure in 2018.

Over the years, Page and Dan Houser ’76 have acquired plenty of worldly wisdom. During Dan’s 35-year engineering career with McDermott International, the Housers spent 19 years overseas and have traveled to 76 countries to date.

“We benefited greatly from living in many places and interacting with people from various countries and cultures,” Dan said. 

To expand international experiences for Aggie engineers, the Housers doubled the College of Engineering’s study abroad budget by establishing a charitable lead trust that will provide scholarships for students pursuing internships or social development projects in Africa, Asia, Oceania, Central America or South America. “It’s important that students learn the difficulties of working through language differences and understanding cultural mores,” Page explained. “Such an experience can enrich one’s life.”

“We want students to realize they can be citizens of our country but also the world at large,” Dan added. “I am concerned that many in our country have become too insular and are harboring unfounded biases that impede the social and business position of the U.S. We hope to help students become more self-aware of their own biases and better understand the broad array of global cultures to objectively assess national, cultural, social and economic differences.”

The couple exploring a Malaysian rainforest
in 2016. 

While overseas, the Housers also experienced the worldwide strength of the Aggie Network. “The Aggies we met overseas were such a positive influence at work and in our communities,” Dan said. “Our international assignments helped us grow, and Aggies always gave back to make those communities better.” 

The Housers created their charitable lead trust with the assistance of the Texas A&M Foundation’s Office of Gift Planning and their financial advisor. Their lead trust currently makes fixed percentage payments to the Foundation. Upon the trust’s termination in 20 years’ time, the remaining funds will return to their family. “It was the best fit for us because it created income for our mission while also providing for our family,” Dan explained. By beginning the program now, this method also allows the Housers to see their gift’s impact during their lifetimes. 

In their own lives, the Housers strive to lead by example by serving as role models for those around them. Through their gift, they hope to inspire others to give back, whether financially or by serving others overseas. “We hope our gift will help students become effective players in the global engineering arena while also being ambassadors for Texas A&M,” Dan said. 

For more information on creating a planned gift to support tomorrow's engineering leaders, please contact Kevin Westerman '11 by completing the form below.

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