The R. A. “Murray” Fasken ’38 Partner in Philanthropy Award celebrates Aggie faculty and staff who demonstrate dedicated and lasting participation, commitment and creative leadership to philanthropy and Texas A&M.

Dr. John Junkins was the inaugural recipient of the Partner in Philanthropy Award.

The award was established by the Texas A&M Foundation’s Board of Trustees in 2016. It was renamed in honor of R. A. “Murray” Fasken ’38, one of the university’s earliest benefactors, in 2022.

Born in 1916, Murray Fasken ’38 received a bachelor’s degree in economics from Texas A&M University in 1938 before serving in the U.S. Army from 1941 to 1946. He began his professional career at Midland National Bank in 1950 as a teller and was named president of the bank in 1958. He held that position until he was named chairman of the board in 1964. Fasken was a long-time civic leader in Midland, Texas, serving as president of the Midland Chamber of Commerce and the Midland College Board. 

A prolific, yet humble supporter of Texas A&M, he quietly contributed significant funds to the university’s Education Research Center, donated to the 12th Man Foundation, created the Murray and Celeste Fasken Endowed Chair in Liberal Arts, and established several President’s Endowed Scholarships. He also gave his time and talent by serving on the Texas A&M Foundation’s Board of Trustees and assisted in efforts to recruit students and athletes to attend the university he loved so dearly. 

The Partner in Philanthropy accolade acknowledges an individual faculty member’s effort to build long-term productive relationships between the university, former students and other private partners in philanthropy. Recipients demonstrate a deep understanding of the value of private support and have typically developed relationships with donors and contributed their own gifts to Texas A&M. To be selected, faculty or staff must be nominated by a member of the Texas A&M Foundation development staff. Honorees receive $10,000 that they can use to advance their research and teaching or direct to an area of their choice.

Past recipients include:

  • 2016Dr. John Junkins, founding director of the Texas A&M Institute for Advanced Study (TIAS), distinguished professor of aerospace engineering and holder of the Royce E. Wisenbaker Chair in the College of Engineering
  • 2017Dr. Janet Bluemel, professor of chemistry; Dr. John A. Gladysz, distinguished professor of chemistry and holder of the Dow Chair in Chemical Invention in the College of Arts & Sciences; and M. Edward Rister, professor and holder of the M. Edward Rister ’74 Chair in Rural Entrepreneurship in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
  • 2018Cydney Donnell 81, executive professor of finance and director of real estate programs in Mays Business School'
  • 2019Dr. Edward Fry, distinguished professor, former department head of physics and holder of the George P. Mitchell ’40 Chair in Experimental Physics in the College of Arts & Sciences
  • 2020: Dr. Sonny Presnal ’57, director of the Stevenson Companion Animal Life-Care Center; and Dr. Walter Haisler ’67, retired professor emeritus and former department head of aerospace engineering
  • 2021: Luz Herrera, professor of law and associate dean for experiential education at the Texas A&M University School of Law
  • 2022: Joe Horlen '73, J.D., retired department head and associate professor emeritus for the Department of Construction Science 
  • 2023: Dr. Leonard Berry, University Distinguished Professor in Marketing, Regents Professor and holder of the M.B. Zale Chair in Retailing and Marketing Leadership at Mays Business School