In 1998, the Texas A&M Foundation Board of Trustees established the Sterling C. Evans Medal to recognize individuals who have made outstanding contributions to Texas A&M University’s philanthropic efforts. Recipients must exhibit a long and distinguished record of supporting philanthropy at Texas A&M, both through exemplary giving and volunteer leadership. The award, named for Sterling C. Evans ’21, is a sterling silver medallion custom designed by James Avery Craftsmen of Kerrville, Texas.
2013—Reta and Bill Haynes '46
The Hayneses began what would become a 64-year marriage living in a Quonset hut on the Texas A&M campus. Following his 1947 graduation, Bill Haynes put his civil engineering degree to use during a 34-year career with Standard Oil Co., now Chevron, in which he advanced to president, chairman and chief executive officer. After retiring from Chevron in 1981, he embarked on a 28-year consulting career for the Bechtel Corporation, the Bechtel family and the Fremont Group.
The Haynes’ gifts to Texas A&M have established two endowed faculty chairs in geosciences, supported more than 40 civil and ocean engineering graduate students, and have provided financial assistance to cadets and other students through merit-based scholarships. Their donations have further created such campus landmarks as the Reta and Bill Haynes ’46 Coastal Engineering Laboratory and the Haynes Ring Plaza.
Following her husband’s death, Reta Haynes honored the couple’s commitment to Texas A&M with gifts to support the College of Education and Human Development, Singing Cadets and Corps 21 Scholarships. One of her most significant contributions will be a multimillion dollar estate gift providing four-year, full-ride scholarships to incoming Texas A&M freshmen.
2013—Patti and Weldon Kruger '53
Weldon and Patti Kruger trace the start of their relationship to Texas A&M, where they met at the university’s Freshmen Ball in 1952. Weldon Kruger became Corps commander before graduating in 1953 with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in petroleum engineering, while Patti Kruger completed an English degree in 1956 from The University of Texas at Austin.
As Patti Kruger worked for Hunt Oil Co., Weldon Kruger began a career at ExxonMobil and later advanced to senior executive.
The Krugers have backed the university through gifts that support scholarships, study abroad and building projects such as the Memorial Student Center and Sterling C. Evans Library.
They also have made countless contributions to the Corps of Cadets, supporting the programs, academic excellence and leadership of the organization. A gift of real estate in 2007 created their Aggie Spirit endowment, which benefits students and organizations within the Division of Student Affairs.
2012—Dan '51 and Dudley '51 Hughes
Twin brothers Dan and Dudley Hughes graduated with degrees in geology from Texas A&M University in 1951. They built a stellar reputation in oil exploration and recovery with their company Hughes and Hughes. When the brothers eventually decided to divide their company, Dan Hughes’ son, Dan Allen Hughes Jr., stepped in as his father’s new partner. Their business, the Dan A. Hughes Co., is headquartered in Beeville.
Dudley Hughes is retired as president of Hughes South Corp. in Jackson, Miss. In 2009, the Hughes brothers and Hughes Jr. provided the lead gift for Texas A&M’s Berg-Hughes Center for Petroleum and Sedimentary Systems. Each of the brothers have also previously endowed faculty chairs in geosciences, and Dan Hughes gave a $4 million gift to renovate Military Walk—the pedestrian greenway that links Sbisa Dining Hall to the Memorial Student Center Complex.
2012—Nancy and Howard Terry
The late Howard Terry attended the University of Texas on an athletic scholarship for football, and he received a business degree from the school in 1938. Years later, he found tremendous success in the lumber, building, development and financial industries. He served as director and chairman of the executive committee of Penn Central Corporation. He also founded the Terry Companies—a multistate oil and gas corporation.
A native of Ogdensburg, N.Y., Nancy Terry attended the University of Rochester’s School of Nursing. So when she and her husband decided that their own financial success offered them the opportunity to help others, they chose to do so in the form of college scholarships. In 1986, the couple founded the Terry Foundation—the largest private source of scholarships in Texas. As of fall 2011, the Terry Foundation had supported more than 2,600 Texas students. It has provided some $32.5 million in scholarship funds to Texas A&M students alone since 1987, primarily in the form of full scholarships.
2011—Jack Brown '46
Jack Brown holds degrees in petroleum and mechanical engineering from Texas A&M University. He has had a successful career with Wagner & Brown, a Midland-based independent oil and gas operation. He and his wife, Frances, contributed $5 million for construction of the chemical engineering building on the Texas A&M campus. The 205,000-square-foot building is named in his honor. The Browns also have endowed a faculty chair in engineering and made significant contributions to the George Bush School of Government and Public Service, Corps of Cadets, Robert L. Whiting Technology Fund, 12th Man Foundation and The Association of Former Students. Brown’s volunteer leadership at Texas A&M includes service on the industry advisory councils for the Dwight Look College of Engineering and its Department of Mechanical Engineering, and service as geographic chairman and board director for the Private Enterprise Research Center. Brown was named an Outstanding Alumnus of the engineering college and is a member of the Corps of Cadets Hall of Honor.
2011—Jim Nelson '49
Jim Nelson is a petroleum and mechanical engineering graduate from Texas A&M University. He is former owner of Grey Wolf Drilling Company in Houston. He and his late wife, Audrey, have given $10 million to the Texas A&M Foundation to support petroleum engineering programs. The couple chose to honor three of Nelson’s former professors by naming the Harold J. Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering and the Albert B. Stevens and Robert Whiting Chairs in Petroleum Engineering. Their gift also created an endowed student scholarship program. The Nelsons also endowed two Corps of Cadets scholarships, and the lobby exhibit hall in the Bright Football Complex is named in their honor to recognize their generosity to the 12th Man Foundation.
Nelson has held many offices in A&M Clubs and groups affiliated with Corps leadership, 12th Man Foundation and The Association of Former Students. He has served as a member of Texas A&M’s Petroleum Engineering Industry Board, College of Education and Human Development Advisory Council, and Visual Arts Development Council. Nelson was named a member of the Corps Hall of Honor, Distinguished Graduate of the Texas A&M Petroleum Engineering Academy, Texas A&M University Distinguished Alumnus awarded by The Association of Former Students, and Outstanding Alumnus of the Dwight Look College of Engineering.
2010—Lowry Mays ’57
Lowry Mays is a 1957 graduate of Texas A&M with a degree in petroleum engineering. He is founder of Clear Channel Communications and former chairman of the Texas A&M Board of Regents. After receiving his bachelor’s degree, serving three years in the Air Force and earning a master’s degree in business from Harvard, Mays worked as an investment banker in San Antonio. He became owner of an FM radio station in 1972 when a borrower defaulted on a loan he co-signed.
Lowry Mays and his wife, Peggy, are generous donors to the college of business and George Bush Presidential Library Center. The Evans medal recognizes Mays’ gifts and volunteer leadership benefiting Texas A&M, his encouragement of others to support the university and personal history of integrity and excellence. During the mid-1990s, Mays contributed $15 million to the College of Business, later renamed the Mays Business School. In 2009, Lowry and Peggy Mays gave $7.5 million for nine endowed faculty chairs at Mays Business School. Part of that gift will be matched with contributions from other donors, bringing its total impact to $12 million. Mays has also given nearly $2 million to the Bush Presidential Library on the A&M campus.
2008—Henry “Bartell” Zachry Jr. ’54
Bartell Zachry is a 1954 graduate of Texas A&M with a degree in civil engineering. He is chairman of Zachry Group Inc., a collection of companies including Zachry Construction Corp. and the Zachry Foundation. Bartell Zachry and his wife, Mollie, are longtime supporters of Texas A&M; their generosity to his graduating department is unrivaled. The Department of Civil Engineering was named in honor of the Zachry family in 2005 in appreciation of its loyal support, and he also was named an Outstanding Alumnus of the Dwight Look College of Engineering.
An avid supporter of the Corps of Cadets, Zachry funded two endowed General Rudder Corps Scholarships. His gifts and inspired thinking were the catalyst for the formation of the Corps of Cadets Leadership Excellence Program, a four-year curriculum at Texas A&M that develops leaders of character. As a result of his excellence of character and support for the Corps of Cadets, he is an inductee of the Corps of Cadets Hall of Honor. He has also funded two President's Endowed Scholarships in memory of his father, and along with his family, company and foundation, he has created faculty chairs, professorships and fellowships, and has funded many scholarships for exceptional civil engineering students.
2006—George P. Mitchell ’40
George Mitchell was a 1940 graduate of Texas A&M with a degree in petroleum engineering. He was former chairman and CEO of Mitchell Energy & Development Corp., which was one of the largest independent gas and oil producers in the nation. Mitchell Energy merged with Devon Energy in 2002. He also founded The Woodlands, where he resided for more than 20 years, and the Houston Advanced Research Center. He and his late wife, Cynthia, are among the most financially supportive benefactors in Texas A&M’s 129-year history, with involvement that spanned decades. Their gifts to the Texas A&M Department of Physics totaled nearly $45 million and have played a leading role in the department’s skyrocketing rise to national prominence.
They also provided major funding for Texas A&M's petroleum engineering department and the tennis center, which bears the Mitchell name. The Mitchells were been major benefactors of Texas A&M’s marine-oriented branch campus in Galveston, too. Among other gifts for Texas A&M University at Galveston, he donated the 135 acres for its main campus, named for his father, Mike Mitchell.
2005—Jon L. Hagler ’58
The 2005 award is especially meaningful as Jon L. Hagler was the lead donor to the headquarters of the Texas A&M Foundation. He ushered in a new era in Foundation history through his vision of the Jon L. Hagler Center as an investment in Texas A&M’s future. A resident of Dover, Mass., Hagler is director of GMO, a Boston-based investment firm. He was a member of the Foundation’s board of trustees for seven years, serving as chairman in 1999. He was also instrumental in altering the Foundation’s investment mix to improve returns. In recognition of his dedication and leadership, the Foundation in 2003 named him “trustee emeritus,” only the second such honor it has bestowed in its 50-year history.
Among his numerous gifts to Texas A&M University are a $5 million commitment to the One Spirit One Vision campaign and funding of 100 Foundation Excellence Award scholarships. Hagler was a leader in A&M’s landmark strategic planning initiative, Vision 2020, serving as co-chair of the Executive Committee and later as co-chair of the Advisory Council. Recently, he made a considerable gift to the College of Education and Human Development that will bolster its Sports Management Program.
In the decade before his death, Herman Heep devoted himself to advancing Texas higher education. Crucial to Texas A&M was his service on the Texas A&M College Development Fund. As a director of the fund, Heep played a lead role in launching what is now the Texas A&M Foundation. The Heeps gave the fledgling foundation $250,000 between 1956 and Herman’s death in 1960. For decades after that, Minnie Belle continued giving through the couple’s foundation.
The culmination of their devotion came in 1986, when Minnie Belle funded the Heep Foundation. At Minnie Belle’s death in 1993, the Heep Foundation provided more than $20 million for the benefit of Texas A&M and its agriculture and engineering agencies. The Heeps are the first couple, and Mrs. Heep the first female, to receive the award.
2002—H.R. “Bum” Bright ’43
H.R. “Bum” Bright ’43, former owner of the NFL Dallas Cowboys, made a $25 million “unrestricted” commitment to Texas A&M in 1997. His giving is funding a matching program that has helped other donors endow 25 new faculty chairs and numerous Corps scholarships. In 2000, Bright pledged another $5 million to support construction at Kyle Field. Bright is also an Endowed Diamond Century Club member. He chaired the TAMU System Board of Regents from 1981-85 and was named a Distinguished Alumnus in 1991. He currently serves as an honorary chair of Texas A&M’s One Spirit One Vision Campaign.
Real estate developer Les Appelt ’41 of Houston and Bastrop gave almost $3 million to Texas A&M, including $1 million for the university’s Appelt Aggieland Visitor Center. He pledged an additional $5 million during A&M’s first capital campaign, Capturing the Spirit. His pledge, fulfilled through his will, benefited the Visitor Center, Private Enterprise Research Center (PERC), Office of Student Affairs and undergraduate programs. Appelt supported PERC, which he helped found, and The Association of Former Students, which he served as president in 1971. Appelt was a founding donor of the President’s Endowed Scholarship program. He is a Texas A&M Foundation Trustee Emeritus and was named a Distinguished Alumnus in 1977.
John H. Lindsey's giving to Texas A&M spans more than 50 years. As national chairman of the Capturing the Spirit campaign, which raised $600 million-plus for Texas A&M, Lindsey inspired countless gifts to the university. Lindsey, who lives in Houston, also served as a Texas A&M Foundation trustee and regent of the TAMU System. Behind the scenes, Lindsey worked tirelessly to garner support for a coeducational Texas A&M, to establish a University Press, and to influence the selection of Texas A&M as site of the George Bush Presidential Library. He and his wife, Sara H. Lindsey, have made numerous gifts, including three faculty chairs, nine scholarships and a $3 million Capturing the Spirit campaign commitment.
The first to receive the Evans Medal was Sterling C. Evans himself. Owner of the U-Ranch in Brackettville, Texas, Evans was a founding trustee of the Texas A&M Foundation in 1953. He also served as president of the university’s board of directors in 1963. Over the years, Evans committed almost $10 million to Texas A&M. He remained active in Foundation affairs and was the pinnacle example of a lifetime commitment to progress and excellence at Texas A&M. Evans’ efforts were not limited to personal gifts and interests. He also devoted his energies to getting others involved, constantly seeking new contributors and people who are willing to work for Texas A&M.
1998—William C. McCord ’49
The other first-year Evans Medal recipient was William C. McCord of Dallas. Bill McCord left a legacy of leadership that is worthy of modeling by Aggies of all ages. He held a long list of significant leadership positions at Texas A&M and gave more than $1 million to the university. Particularly significant was his service on the Target 2000 Project, the development councils for engineering and business, and the Board of Trustees of the Texas A&M Foundation. McCord crowned a lifetime of service to the university by taking a lead role in Capturing the Spirit, a campaign that raised $637 million for Texas A&M. His widow, Kay Moran McCord, accepted the award on his behalf.