Angela ’85 and Kerry Stein ’85 have a little piece of Aggie history in their own backyard. When the Washington, Texas, couple was looking for a second home in College Station, they discovered the “scoreboard house,” nicknamed for the old Kyle Field scoreboard in the yard that was used during the Steins’ time at Texas A&M University.
Located across the street from campus on George Bush Drive, the house also has ties to Texas A&M: It once belonged to Frederick Hensel ’41, an architecture professor and the university’s first official landscape architect, and it includes a detached cottage that was moved from campus to the property in 1941. Avid Aggie football fans and longtime season ticket holders, the couple hopes to bring the scoreboard back to life this fall and fill the yard with tailgating and cheers for the 12th Man.
In addition to rooting for the Aggies, the Steins have translated their love for the university into scholarships to support bright minds. Inspired by the generosity they experienced at Texas A&M, the Steins are using their gifts to cheer on scholars now and for generations to come.
Angela’s journey to Texas A&M began with a letter. It arrived in the mailbox of her family’s South Carolina home one day with exciting news: She had been offered a scholarship to attend Texas A&M. Though she had not previously considered the university, the scholarship, created by Walter Lechner, Class of 1916, opened the door for her to make Aggieland her home without worrying about out-of-state tuition.
More than 1,000 miles away, in San Antonio, Kerry also received a letter. He had already been accepted to Texas A&M, and the note announced that he had been awarded a President’s Endowed Scholarship created by C.E. “Pat” Olsen, Class of 1923. “I didn’t know about it, but my high school counselor had submitted a scholarship application on my behalf,” Kerry explained. “It was such a wonderful surprise. I was thrilled and so grateful.”
The couple first crossed paths at Texas A&M in a geology class. Kerry had just switched his major to geophysics while Angela would soon leave the department when she changed her major from geophysics to geography, but their connection blossomed into dates two-stepping at the Texas Hall of Fame dance hall.
After graduating, the Steins worked in the oil and gas industry, but they never forgot the generosity they experienced from Lechner and Olsen. “Their contribution to Texas A&M occurred long before we were students, but it helped us immensely,” Angela said. “We’ve had a long-term goal of paying back that generosity, hoping to give more than we received.”
A few years ago, the Steins fulfilled that goal with current and planned gifts to the university. They annually contribute to a scholarship in the College of Geosciences in addition to an endowment in their names that will perpetually create geosciences endowed dean’s scholar awards and president’s endowed scholarships for high-achieving students. In addition, they planned a gift in their wills to further support the endowment and its scholarships beyond their lifetimes.
“Anything that supports education is a worthy endeavor,” Kerry said. “We knew we could have a lasting impact by contributing to education and Texas A&M.”
The Steins’ generosity has already supported bright minds like meteorology graduates Miles Langfeld ’21 and Joshua Ostaszewski ’21.
Langfeld’s interest in weather led him to Aggieland when he heard about the meteorology program’s prestige. “Growing up on a small farm outside San Antonio, I was always interested in the weather because it was a big part of my life,” he explained.
Langfeld enjoyed multiple opportunities beyond the classroom while at Texas A&M. He served as president of the Texas A&M Student Chapter of the American Meteorological Society (TAMSCAMS) and learned about tropical and mountain meteorology on study abroad trips to Barbados and Germany. He also volunteered with the National Weather Service Weather Forecast Offices in New Braunfels and Houston and interned with a flood diagnostic team at the organization’s Springfield, Missouri, office. Now, he works at the Springfield office as a full-time meteorologist.
A San Antonio native, Ostaszewski knew Texas A&M was the right choice during a visit to Aggieland. “As soon as I stepped on campus, I immediately felt a sense of family,” he said. During his time at the university, Ostaszewski pursued his passion for weather by researching forecast techniques of tornadic environments and participating in TAMSCAMS and the Texas Aggie Storm Chasers. “Those two organizations and my research showed me the different paths you can take with meteorology,” he said.
After graduating in May, Ostaszewski joined Texas Tech University’s graduate program, where he continues to research storm systems with the goal of one day working for the Storm Prediction Center or the National Severe Storms Laboratory. “The end goal is to help improve forecasting systems so people don’t lose their lives,” he explained.
A Victory for Aggieland
Both scholars attribute the Steins’ geosciences scholarships as a boost to their achievements. “Their generous donation means the world to me,” Langfeld said. “It allowed me to focus on my studies rather than the financial strain of college.”
Ostaszewski agreed. “I was adopted by my grandparents, so neither they nor my parents saved money for me to attend college,” he shared. “My first year at Texas A&M was a big struggle for me financially, which directly impacted my schooling. As soon as I received the Steins’ scholarship, it removed that stress. Even though I didn’t know them personally at the time, knowing that they care about students’ futures and our time at Texas A&M meant a lot.”
The Steins have enjoyed meeting their scholars and hearing how the students are contributing to Texas A&M’s success. “They’re an impressive bunch,” Angela said. “It’s very inspiring to interact with them.” The couple looks forward to meeting more recipients in the future, and thanks to their planned gift, their legacy of support will live on in endless generations of scholars.
Whether they’re tailgating at the scoreboard house or supporting students, the Steins will continue to root for Aggies on and off the field. Thanks to their generosity, they can cheer even louder knowing that they’re helping Aggieland score a brighter future. “We hope our scholarships continue to attract a diverse group of worthy recipients,” Kerry said. “And maybe our efforts can instill the same pay-it-forward motivation in these students that Mr. Olsen and Mr. Lechner did so many years ago for us.”
Interested in supporting students in the College of Geosciences? Contact David Bacot ’90 using the form below. To learn more about leaving a legacy for future Aggies, contact Angela Throne ’03 at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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