May 15, 2024

Breakthroughs in chemistry will play a crucial part in solving many of the world’s most complex challenges, such as finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, cleaning up the world’s water supply or traveling safely to Mars.

Now thanks to major philanthropic commitments by the Robert A. Welch Foundation and Jon Hagler ’58, Texas A&M University’s Hagler Institute for Advanced Study will bring some of the world’s top chemistry researchers to campus. These leading scholars will work with Texas A&M faculty and students to further foster an innovative research culture that will position the university to be at the forefront of chemistry.

Each of these contributions are earmarked for specific but complementary purposes. The Welch Foundation’s $10 million grant will create the Welch-Hagler Fellows, who will be selected from national academy-level researchers in chemistry and allied fields where advances in chemistry enable multidisciplinary research. “To create a partnership like this with Texas A&M’s Hagler Institute is a compelling opportunity for the Welch Foundation,” said Fred Brazelton, chair of its Board of Directors. “With this funding, we hope to make a meaningful and enduring impact on the students, faculty and future research at the institute.”

“We hope to make a meaningful and enduring impact on the students, faculty and future research at the institute.”
- Fred Brazelton, Chair of the Robert A. Welch Foundation Board of Directors

A committee of Texas A&M’s senior faculty members evaluate candidates’ scholarly work as well as their commitment to mentoring young faculty and students. “We want to further enhance our legacy of accelerating young people and collaboration across disciplines,” Junkins explained.

Once the committee’s decision is finalized, Junkins offers the approved scholars what he describes as “the mother of all sabbatical opportunities” for the researcher to come to Texas A&M. More often than not, his invitation is accepted.

Since its inception in 2010, the Hagler Institute has attracted 116 Hagler Fellows and 10 Distinguished Lecturers to the university. The Hagler Fellows have included six Nobel Laureates, two Wolf Prize winners, an awardee of the Hubbell Medal in Literature for Lifetime Achievement, an Academy Award winner, and recipients of the National Medal of Science, the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, the National Humanities Medal, the State Prize of Russia, and a lifetime achievement award in architecture.