Marlene Lepkoski ’90 describes her life as a series of firsts. Her first plane ride brought her to Texas A&M University, her first job resulted in a full-fledged career at Johnson & Johnson (J&J), and her first gift to the School of Innovation—also the school’s first gift—will open unlimited opportunities for pioneering students. However, none of this would have been possible without a single word: “Howdy!”
“I always say, ‘Texas A&M had me at Howdy,’” laughed Lepkoski. In the 1980s, she traveled from her home state of New Jersey to visit a friend at Texas A&M and fell in love with the warm and welcoming campus atmosphere.
After graduating, Lepkoski began her career at J&J, where she now serves as head of regulatory engagement and development. Her career has taught her about ingenuity, resourcefulness and finding opportunities—lessons that align with Texas A&M’s I-School mission.
Established in August 2017, the I-School is a hub for creativity and problem-solving that helps Aggies prepare for the working world by completing interdisciplinary projects. Lepkoski’s $25,000 endowed scholarship, created with matching funds from J&J, will support students involved with the school.