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Spirit® is published three times per year by the Texas A&M Foundation, which manages major gifts and endowments for the benefit of academic programs, scholarships and student activities at Texas A&M University.

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Also In This Issue

New Gifts: Recent Gifts to Texas A&M

Mapping the World

A collection of 15th and 16th century European city view maps was recently added to Cushing Memorial Library and Archives, thanks to a gift-in-kind donation from Jane and Ron Woellhof of Fredericksburg, Texas. Their collection, which includes 108 maps dating from as early as 1493, will be available to interested parties for teaching, viewing and research. Plans for a future exhibit are also in progress.

The Woellhofs began their collection more than 40 years ago after discovering a map of Constantinople (now Istanbul) while on a trip to Germany. “I love studying old maps to see how the world developed throughout history,” Ron said. “You can see how towns were previously fortified for protection or learn the locations of former abbeys, chateaus and castles. These maps were made when most people did not travel long distances and therefore opened up a whole new view of the world to many individuals.” 

Cushing Library already has a strong reputation for its collection of Texas maps, but the couple’s gift lays the foundation for an expanded archive concentrating on cartography. This gift is the first part of a larger collection of world maps the Woellhofs plan to donate.

“We are pleased to give to Texas A&M University because we know our gift will be used for educational purposes,” Ron added. “We want the maps to be preserved in a museum-like setting where they will be appreciated as works of art and as teaching tools.” 
 

  • A Big Gift for the Big Event

    Phillips 66, a longtime corporate partner of Texas A&M University, committed a gift to cover one-fourth of The Big Event’s operating budget for 2021. Since its introduction in 1982, The Big Event has become the largest one-day, student-run service project in the nation, with more than 1 million service hours contributed by Aggies through projects such as yard work, window washing and painting.
  • Engineering Endowment

    Using their companies’ matching programs, recent petroleum engineering graduate Camille Camarata ’19 (center) and several of her female classmates pledged a $25,000 scholarship endowment for high-achieving sophomores pursuing petroleum engineering degrees. Eligible recipients must be active in organizations such as the Society for Petroleum Engineers, the International Association of Drilling Contractors, Pi Epsilon Tau or the American Association of Drilling Engineers.
  • Passion for Agriculture

    To honor Kelsey Christian ’02, a Texas A&M Foundation gift planning development officer, Ruth and Dr. Henry Williams ’58 endowed a $25,000 study abroad scholarship for agricultural science students in the Department of Agricultural Leadership, Education and Communications. The Williamses have worked with Christian, an agribusiness graduate, on several endowments over the years, and this gift speaks to their shared passion for agriculture and Christian’s hard work. Christian called the gift “an honor that words cannot describe.”

Serving More Than Food

When you walk into one of Jerald Huggins’ three restaurants, you’re greeted by cheerful, enthusiastic team members. The Class of 1997 Aggie owns and operates the three Chick-fil-A locations in College Station, a career he feels immeasurably grateful to have. Huggins appreciates the company’s corporate vision, which emphasizes service and caring. 

Today, he and his wife, Hayley, are taking their commitment to service outside of the business realm and back to Texas A&M University. They recently established a $25,000 endowed scholarship for students majoring in biological and agricultural engineering, the same field Huggins studied.

The couple’s gift will support undergraduates as they study and explore the ins and outs of large-scale food processing and managing supply chains. “Agriculture is obviously a huge part of the food cycle,” Huggins said. “This field is all about managing people, money and machines.”

Although Huggins doesn’t work in a strict agricultural setting, he credits his Texas A&M education with preparing him for success. He enjoys sharing his experiences with other Aggies through guest lectures and hopes this new scholarship will help even more students succeed. “We want to support their dreams and goals,” he added. “My greatest joy is impacting people’s lives and supporting their growth.”
 

To Engineering and Beyond

Ken Kavalew ’89 and his two children, Brennan and Gianna, are helping aerospace engineering students shoot for the stars with a new $25,000 scholarship created in memory of his late wife, Tabitha ’91, who passed away from breast cancer in August 2015. An aerospace engineering major, Tabitha was a certified Space Flight Systems Instructor who worked at NASA’s Johnson Space Center for five years, where she trained astronauts in onboard space shuttle navigation systems. 

“My wife had a love for space and was fascinated with space exploration,” Ken said. “I wanted to honor her love for her school and profession, and I thought the fifth anniversary of her passing this August would be a good opportunity to commemorate her.”

Ken, who earned his degree in mechanical engineering, said that the education Tabitha received and lifelong friendships she made at Texas A&M University were invaluable to her. He hopes the scholarship will help students like her and encourage them to carry on her legacy. 

“I hope this gift will inspire future recipients to pursue their passion for aerospace engineering and consider a career in space at NASA or another company involved with exploring life beyond Earth,” he added.

Contact:

Dunae Reader '15

Assistant Director of Marketing & Communications/Spirit Editor/Maroon Co-Editor