Robert H. Abbott, Jr. ’42 graduated from Texas A&M with a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering and mechanical engineering. After serving in the U.S. Army, Bob was employed and retired after 39 years as general manager, responsible for USA producing operations of Texaco. Bob was presented the Purple Heart award in 1944. This gift was given in memory of his parents Robert H. and Laura Landa Abbott.
The total effort made by the University to become a top notch educational facility and to encourage students to get a higher education to better themselves and their country encouraged me to give my gift.
Corpus Christi, TX
In Memory of Bruce's mother
Abel earned a degree in accounting with honors in 1966. In March 1970, Abel became the Controller of Lichtensteins’s department store and in 1975 he became the Controller of Whataburger, Inc. He retired from Whataburger in December 1996 as Senior Vice President in charge of accounting, personnel and information systems. Abel served as the Financial Vice President of the Nueces County A&M Club, and in 2003 he was name “Aggie of the Year” by the club.
My favorite tradition at A&M has always been Muster. I still remember my first Muster on campus. I was a junior but a first year Aggie. I remember the sound of several thousand students moving across campus in the dark. I was amazed that not one word was spoken by anyone. After the ceremony, I realized I was a part of a very unique University. I believe it was the quality of the education I received at Texas A&M that allowed me to have a successful career. As a first generation college graduate, it is my hope that my contribution might help another first generation student begin a family tradition at Texas A&M.
Double Oak, TX
S. Wayne received his BBA in Building Projects Marketing in 1959 from Texas A&M. He began his career as an insurance agent in 1960 and founded Third Party Administrators, Inc. in 1974. Wayne is on the Board of Directors for the Garland Chamber of Commerce, a Lakeside Rotary member and in the Knights of Columbus.
Daniel J. Adams graduated from Texas A&M in 1977 with a Bachelor in Science degree in Civil Engineering. After completing his education he obtained jobs as an engineer for USAF and Gary M. Adams, Inc. that led to him obtaining the role as the President and CEO of Adams Engineering. Daniel has served as the Past President of the Tyler - Smith County A&M Club. Due to the great impact that Texas A&M has had on his life he has seen the great importance of giving back to the University to ultimately impact fellow Aggies to come.
The Honorable John Akard graduated from Texas A&M with a B.A. in Business before attending the University of Texas School of Law. He retired in 2000 after 14 years as the United States Bankruptcy Judge for the Northern District of Texas. He was with the El Paso law firm of Akard & Kirk before serving 25 years as Trustee under Chapter 13 of the Bankruptcy Code in the El Paso Division. Akard was a Class Agent and established a Sul Ross Scholarship in memory of his parents, Mary Frances and Hunter Akard.
The Woodlands, TX
Pipe Creek, TX
William Albrecht retired in 1996 as Vice President/Controller with Micro-Gen Equipment Corp. (a wholly-owned subsidiary of S.C. Johnson & Son, Inc.) after 24 years with the company. Previously was a CPA and staff accountant with PMM & Co. for 6 years. He earned his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in accounting at Texas A&M University.
Aldredge owned and operated Aldredge Cleaners & Tailors in Gilmer from 1936-1993. Before that, he worked for Deere & Company. He was active in the U.S. Army Reserve for 37 years, retiring as a lieutenant colonel in 1972. He has been President of the Gilmer Rotary Club and on the board of Dry Cleaners Institute of Texas. He was President of the Upshur County A&M Club twice.
Edward C. “Pete” Aldridge, Jr. ’60, earned a Bachelor of Science degree in aeronautical engineering from Texas A&M and a Master’s degree in the same field from the Georgia Institute of Technology in 1962. As a student, he was a member of the Corps of Cadets, the Institute of Aerospace Sciences, Sigma Gamma Tau Aerospace Engineering Honor Society, Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society and the Shreveport Hometown Club.
Aldridge’s distinguished 42-year career in the aeronautics field included 18 years of service in the Pentagon under three separate presidential administrations. He served as the director of Planning and Evaluation, as Under Secretary and then Secretary of the Air Force, and finally as the under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics. He also served as president of McDonnell Douglas Electronic Systems Company from 1988-1992 and as president and CEO of The Aerospace Corporation from 1992-2001.
Aldridge was elected to the National Academy of Engineering, presented the Wright Brothers Memorial Trophy by the National Aeronautic Association and has been a volunteer and contributor to dozens of educational and non-profit organizations. He is an Honorary Fellow and Past President of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
Active in his support to Texas A&M, Aldridge has donated generously to the Department of Aerospace Engineering and is an Endowed Century Club member with The Association of Former Students.
He is a native of Shreveport, La., and currently lives in Arlington, VA with his wife, Jody. They have three sons; Michael, David, and Mark; a daughter, Lori Aldridge-Boyd; and six grandchildren.
Nichols Hills, OK
Bill Allison retired from Exxon USA in 1986 after 39 years in refining and marketing. He chaired the American Petroleum Institute task force which published API Standard #610 for centrifugal pumps and his work was recognized nationally. He presented papers at ASME Compressor Symposiums, API National Meetings and Esso Compressor Forums. He is a co-holder of a patent and a registered Professional Engineer in Texas.
Fort Worth, TX
Gene Almy holds a B.S. degree in aeronautical engineering from Texas A&M and a master’s in engineering administration from Southern Methodist University. He served three years in the U.S. Air Force Military Air Transport Service. He has been a maintainability engineer with General Dynamics Fort Worth and Lockheed Martin since 1964.
Arthur “Dave” Alsobrook graduated from Texas A&M with a B.S. degree in accounting. In January 1942 he joined the U.S. Army until retirement from active duty in 1946. He then began a 35-year career with Humble Oil (ExxonMobile). Dave also remained in the Air Force Reserve program for a total of 30 years of service, retiring in 1975 as a full Colonel.
Kamal graduated from Texas A&M University with a bachelor’s degree in Engineering Technology and went on to earn a master’s degree in Land Development in 1987. He is a founding father of the first chapter of Texas A&M’s Beta Theta Pi Fraternity. Kamal is Vice President of Business Development and Marketing for JE Dunn South Central with offices located in Houston, Dallas, Austin and Oklahoma City. JE Dunn Construction, a national third generation family-owned company and leader in the construction industry, was founded in 1924 and is the 21st highest ranking firm in the nation with a volume of $2.5 billion in 2008. Kamal has managed the planning and construction of many large national projects in his 25 years of practice. Actively involved in his community, he serves on the boards of directors for the Central Fort Bend Chamber Alliance, The Oaks at Briargrove and the Greater Fort Bend Economic Development Council. Kamal is a member of the National Association of Industrial and Office Properties, Construction Owners Association of America, and CoreNet Global. A generous supporter of The Association of Former Students and Texas A&M University, he is a member of the Houston A&M Club, Chancellor’s Century Council and the A&M PAC. Kamal served The Association of Former Students as a Representative at Large prior to his appointment on the Board. Kamal has two children, Conner and Maya.
The impact that Texas A&M has had on my life is enormous. The education I received and the friendships I developed are priceless. Over the past 20 years, I have encountered "Aggies" all over the world and have always experienced a strong bond and a level of instant camaraderie that is an envy to all non-Aggies. This, coupled with the long-lasting friendships that I developed at Texas A&M, has had a positive impact in my life socially and professionally. I hope this gift will enable others to have the same opportunities I had.
It’s my bottom-line policy,” said Grady Ash’58. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” That’s what Ash said he was thinking when he made the decision to join the Endowed Century Club. “Besides, I like A&M,” he said. “I like Aggies.” There’s something special about Aggies, he said. It’s in the way they shake your hand—“Aggies shake hard,” he said. They say what they mean and mean what they say, and they have a solid military past, present and future. “Here’s the main thing,” he said. “Everyone has a hero. For me, my heroes have always been of the military type.” Because of A&M’s strong patriotic and military tradition, “I’ve always seen A&M as something special.”
So when high school graduation came, and college was the next step, “I wanted to be an Aggie in Aggieland,” he said. So, that’s what he did, and—in the process of earning degrees in mechanical engineering and business administration—picked up a series of skill sets that would help him successfully grow his own company. He is the owner of AG Equipment Co. However, before starting that endeavor, Ash served in the U.S. Navy from 1951 to 1954. “Got to respond to the flag,” he said. “I was born a Texas Aggie and derive a lot of satisfaction on helping others,” he said, especially when he can help students “go for the gusto,” and join the Aggie family. He has an arsenal of memories from his time at A&M, but his favorite is when his hard work paid off and he graduated. He was the first from his family to attend and graduate from Texas A&M, and he’s dedicated to making sure others who have a love for his school, get the chance to experience it.
As part of the One Spirit One Vision – A Texas A&M University Campaign, the staff members of The Association gathered together to fund an Endowed Diamond Century Club gift. For many staff members, this was a chance to perpetually impact our organization. “I think it gives the staff a sense of pride to know that they too can be a part of a large gift and a legacy to our organization,” says Gwen Lucas ’91. This gift will ensure that support for the Aggie Network will live on in perpetuity. “As Aggies we have a tradition of giving back,” says Kathryn Greenwade ’88. “Perhaps it’s because we all feel that Texas A&M gave us a great deal, and we want to make sure future generations benefit as we did.”
Supporting Texas A&M effects people in very different ways. For our staff members, this was no different. “Many of our staff, including myself, are not at the stage in life to individually make an Endowed Diamond Century Club gift,” says Cecilee Herd ’95. “However, by coming together and combining our money, we are able to help ensure a bright future for Texas A&M.”
College Station, TX
John Atterbury retired as a technical advisor in 1986 after a 39-year career with the Production Department of Humble/Exxon. He served as President of the Southwest Texas Section of the Society of Petroleum Engineers. He earned the Combat Infantryman’s Badge and Bronze Star while serving with the U.S. Army during World War II. He is Class Agent for the Class of ’45, a director of the 12th Man Foundation and served on the board of the Brazos County A&M Club.
Chappell Hill, TX
Richard W. Austin, Jr. ’86 is President of Craig Sheffield & Austin, Inc. in Houston, Texas and has been with the company since he graduated. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Building Construction from Texas A&M University. He and his wife, Angela, currently reside in Chappell Hill, Texas.
I believe it is important to always remember where you have been, how you arrived at where you are in life, who helped you along the way and to provide the same opportunities for others that follow. Angela and I have been very blessed in our lives and Texas A&M has been a major part of our blessings and we are glad to be able to help provide others with similar opportunities.
Robert Avery retired in 1992 after being a partner in the Baugh and Avery Construction Company for 21 years. He served in the U.S. Army from 1969 to 1976, and he is a life member of the National Guard Association of Texas. He is presently involved with building projects in the Chihuahua, Mexico area, including churches, medical/dental clinics, and an orphanage dormitory.
The late Howard Badgett retired as Texas A&M Assistant Director of Facilities Planning and Construction in 1972 after 38 years of service. He was the top authority on university physical plant management and served as Director of Physical Plant and Manager of the TAMU System Physical Plants. This endowment was established by his wife in his memory.
Baggett received a bachelor’s degree in Accounting in 1968 from Texas A&M. After service in the U.S. Army, he earned a degree at Baylor University School of Law and was a briefing attorney for Texas Supreme Court Justice Price Daniel, Sr. In 1974, he joined Winstead, Sechrest & Minick where he serves as Chairman and CEO. His contributions to Texas A&M include service as a Texas A&M yell leader, class agent, President of both the Dallas A&M Club and The Association of Former Students, Chairman of the Texas A&M Foundation, and President of the Texas Aggie Bar Association.
George Balhmann was a member of the Fightin Texas Aggie Band and the Town Hall staff during his undergraduate years at Texas A&M. He was employed by several major chemical companies, including Union Carbide Corporation, Shell Oil and Amoco Chemicals Corporation over his 38-year career. Mr. & Mrs. Bahlmann honor his brother and his daughter with this endowment.
Sugar Land, TX
Paige ’98 and Brant ’98 Baird’s desire to give back to Texas A&M was driven by their desire to maintain A&M’s core mission. The Bairds want to help maintain the ideals that make Texas A&M unique from other universities.
They remember going on many trips where they were noticed for their Aggie Rings and they appreciate the sense of belonging that comes with that recognition: “No matter where you go, you always feel like you belong,” Brant said.
Kelly (Latham) Baird received her bachelor’s degree in business administration with an emphasis in business analysis from Texas A&M University in 1986. In June of 1986, Kelly began her career with a major oil company in Houston. She has held various positions, including systems analyst and project manager, and since 1992 has been in several supervisory and managerial roles. She has remained in the Houston area throughout her career but has had the opportunity to travel to many countries with her work, such as Singapore, Hungary, Brazil, Belgium, France, England, and Thailand. Today, Kelly is the manufacturing and operations IT manager, managing systems used by the company’s production units, refineries and chemical plants.Don Baird graduated from Indiana University in 1985 with a computer science degree and later met Kelly at work. In 1989, the couple married. Don and Kelly worked at the same company for 20 years before Don became an IT consultant. Don volunteers in the community by coaching a local special needs soccer team. Kelly and Don enjoy spending time with their (almost grown) children and family, exercising, and getting away to their beach house for some good trout fi shing whenever time permits. Since graduating, Kelly still meets up with college roommates once per year to attend an Aggie football game. She also attends other games with her family.Kelly and Don have two sons, Ross ’14 and Jacob (college decision pending, but Kelly says “he’d better pick A&M!”). Kelly and Don live in Friendswood, Texas, and are members of the Friendswood Community Church.
I have always tried to live a life of high integrity and A&M fostered that behavior. Being around good people makes you a better person.
P.D. (David) Bairrington is Sr. Vice President of Branded Marketing for Phillips 66 Company, a division of Phillips Petroleum Company. He joined the company in 1978 as a reservoir engineer and rose to the rank of president of Drilling Specialties Company, a subsidiary of Phillips, and served as the company’s planning and development manager before being named to his current position. He graduated from Texas A&M with a bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering in 1978.