The Texas A&M Foundation Board of Trustees on Thursday recognized Alice and Erle Nye ’59, Susanne and Melbern Glasscock ’59, and Kay ’02 and Jerry Cox ’72 as recipients of the Sterling C. Evans Medal. The award is the Foundation’s highest honor.
Collectively, these couples have donated millions of dollars to scholarships, student development, faculty support, sports programs and academic innovation. They have also devoted their time to committees and boards that have shaped the recent course of Texas A&M University, ensuring its place in the top tier of national universities.
Recipients of the Evans Medal support Texas A&M through demonstrated philanthropy, volunteerism and leadership. Their devotion to Texas A&M and desire to motivate others to strengthen the university encapsulate the spirit of the medal’s namesake, Sterling C. Evans, who was a visionary among Aggie philanthropists.
For nearly two decades, the Foundation’s trustees have selected annual recipients of the award. To be selected, recipients must demonstrate a long-term commitment to Texas A&M.
“The three couples selected this year for this prestigious honor have each earned a seat at the table through their incredible generosity and selfless service to advancing Texas A&M,” said Bill Toler, chairman of the Texas A&M Foundation Board of Trustees. “This university is very lucky to have such passionate advocates as the Nyes, the Glasscocks and the Coxes.”
For a full list of recipients, visit txamfoundation.com/EvansMedal.
Alice and Erle Nye ’59
The love Alice and Erle feel for Texas A&M was passed down by their fathers, who were both Aggie veterinarians.
“Our parents were friends, so we’ve known each other a long time,” said Alice.
While Alice attended North Texas University for her teaching degree, Erle earned a Texas A&M degree in electrical engineering and a law degree from Southern Methodist University.
After receiving his education, Erle began an illustrious career in energy and utilities. In 2004, he retired as CEO of TXU Corp., the state’s largest publicly held utility company, and now serves as its chairman emeritus.
“I know I didn’t get here by myself. I know people helped me. If you see a turtle sitting on a fencepost, you know that turtle didn’t get up there by himself,” he said.
In recognition of Texas A&M’s role in his life, the Dallas-based Nyes began to give back to the university financially and with their time. Erle has served on a host of boards and committees, including the 12th Man Foundation Champions Council, the College of Engineering’s Advisory Council and the Corps of Cadets Development Committee. For 12 years, he also served as a regent for the university system. The couple has funded scholarships and contributed to building funds, such as the renovation of the Memorial Student Center.
In 2005, the Nyes created the Erle Nye ’59 Chair for Engineering Excellence in the College of Engineering. At $2 million, the endowment is one of the college’s largest for faculty.
The achievement that means the most to them, however, is the Alice and Erle Nye ’59 Academic Center, part of the Bright Football Complex. The 24-hour academic center provides tutors, learning labs, study areas and laptops for more than 600 student athletes on campus.
“People say we’re generous, but I say we’re just paying a debt,” Erle said. “I clearly benefited from a great education, and my experience at Texas A&M affected me and my family more profoundly than I can say. I feel we owe the university more than we can ever pay.”
Read more about Alice and Erle Nye.
Susanne and Melbern Glasscock ’59
As a recipient of a scholarship while at Texas A&M, Mel Glasscock understood first-hand how it felt to have someone else’s generosity influence his education. Because of this, the Glasscocks have focused on funding scholarships for students who are the first in their families to attend college, like Mel.
After serving in the Air Force, Mel began a career in the oil industry and eventually founded Texas Aromatics LP, a petrochemical marketing firm. He also served on the 12th Man Foundation Champions Council, the One Spirit One Vision campaign executive committee and the board of trustees for the Texas A&M Foundation
Because of the Houston couple’s interest in the humanities, they established the Melbern C. Glasscock Center for Humanities Research at Texas A&M, which awards grants and fellowships in the humanities and sponsors lecture series and other events. The Glasscocks believe the humanities are particularly important for engineering and science majors. They also created the Susanne M. Glasscock Humanities Book Prize for Interdisciplinary Scholarship, awarded annually to a U.S. faculty member who publishes a scholarly work in the humanities.
“The humanities lead us to think about why, not just the how,” said Susie. “Humanities make us human.”
The couple’s most recent gift to the university is the Texas A&M Foundation Trustees’ Outstanding Student Award. As he was finishing his term as a trustee for the Foundation, Mel created a fund that allows the trustees to annually award a graduating senior $2,500 as a boost for their next phase of life. Recipients are primarily judged on their achievements, but must have overcome personal or family financial challenges.
“Our lives have shown how education can set someone on a journey of friendship and achievement,” said Mel.
Read more about Susanne and Mel Glasscock.
Kay ’02 and Jerry Cox ’72
Jerry Cox, former president of Cox & Perkins Exploration Inc., earned a bachelor’s in finance, following in the footsteps of his father Truman ’44, who played football at Texas A&M. When Kay attended Texas A&M for an advanced degree, she was driven by a family tradition and a powerful dream.
“Pure and simple, I wanted an Aggie ring,” she exclaimed. “I had always wanted to be an ‘official’ member of the Aggie family, and now I have that ’02 after my name. As an added benefit, I received the best masters of science degree in educational psychology there is.”
As Jerry built his career—first as a financial analyst in New York and later as the founder and president of his own company, Cox & Perkins Exploration Inc.—the couple has faithfully given back to Texas A&M. Jerry is a past president of the 12th Man Foundation, a former co-chairman of the One Spirit One Vision campaign executive committee and a former trustee of the Texas A&M Foundation.
Jerry has also given support and counsel in searches for top administrative positions, from university president to head football coach. In addition, he is proud of his involvement with Breakaway, a non-denominational weekly Bible study group on Texas A&M’s campus.
While the Coxes’ efforts at Texas A&M have been broad, much of their impact can be seen at Mays Business School, where they have contributed generously and served countless volunteer hours. A fund to support the Business Honors Program gave a huge leg up to students in the program, and one of Mays’ buildings bears their name: The Jerry and Kay Cox Hall. Acknowledging the importance of strong faculty, the Houston couple also created the Jerry and Kay Cox Endowed Chair in the business school.
“We don’t just want to move up in the rankings. We want to impact the business community,” said Jerry. “It’s not enough to just be successful in the business world. As Aggies, it’s not only our knowledge, but also our values and integrity that set us apart.”
Read more about Kay and Jerry Cox.