I am a dedicated supporter of Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. In fact, I’m a 1980 graduate and a long-time participant in the University’s alumni activities.
A&M-Corpus Christi is one of our community’s greatest assets. There are many wonderful projects and many wonderful institutions in Corpus Christi, but you would be pressed to find one that is universally supported, endorsed and acclaimed. The University is that rare exception. Our community’s perception of the University, bar none, is a positive one.
My role with the Foundation affords me a great opportunity to strengthen the asset that is A&M-Corpus Christi in its role of assisting students.
Of course, the higher role of the Foundation is to be a good steward of the University’s assets. If we do our job and manage effectively, it will translate into years of support.
At the same time, we are standard bearers for the University. We coordinate, working closely with staff, to take our message to the community in order to further the University cause.
The University and Foundation relationship is a natural. The University prepares students in their fields of study and helps them achieve their dreams. The Foundation helps the University’s growth and effectiveness through its fundraising and money management activities.
And now, more than ever, our work is crucial due to diminishing state support for higher education. The resources that our Foundation provides can help attract exemplary students and can enable deserving students with financial needs to attend our University if they choose.
The work of the Foundation is critical to the growing needs of the University. Looking back, the Foundation was a force in the $22 million Wave of the Future fundraising campaign, and in the years since, has been very active in creating endowments for scholarship, faculty chairs, and, in general, keeping outstanding faculty and providing good students with scholarships.
Exciting opportunities come with the appointment of the new President of our University. The Foundation is here to support Dr. Flavius Killebrew, who will be a member of the Foundation Board and the conduit by which we learn of the University’s needs. We will work hand in hand and embrace his leadership.
A continuing charge for the Foundation is to help the University grow its donor base. Our alumni are our greatest potential in terms of fundraising, and the challenge is to unify alumni from the four different incarnations of our University.
In tying with the goals of the University, as a group we are committed to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s Closing the Gaps initiative, which seeks to provide access to traditionally underserved populations. We bring this goal to life through our work with South Texas Academic Rising Scholars, or STARS, which has provided scholarships to South Texas students, many of them minority students, for the past two years.
I have seen Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi change. In the 1970s and 1980s this University was primarily a commuter college with most of its students over the age of 35. Now, I marvel at the University’s aura of youth and vitality, at its building boom, at its participation in Division I NCAA sports. In a word, it’s dynamic.
Our challenge now is to continue the momentum, and to continue to grow the Foundation, expanding its power to meet the existing and new needs. One of our greatest challenges is for unrestricted contributions, which will help meet very specific needs that require funding.
I invite you to join with us and to go forward, providing your time, efforts and resources to continue to see the