TAMU-CC Friends of Engineering Luncheon Recognizes Donors: Valero Energy Corporation and Mrs. Patty Mueller

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas - Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi recognized donors Valero Energy Corporation and the late Mrs. Patty Mueller at the ninth annual Friends of Engineering Luncheon on April 6.

The luncheon recognizes the individuals and organizations that support the university’s College of Engineering (COE), which in turn support the local economy and develop the next generation of engineers in Coastal Bend.

At the luncheon, Dr. Kelly M. Miller, TAMU-CC President and CEO, shared key highlights about the newly launched COE, which was established in 2022.

“Since our last Friends of Engineering Luncheon, our program has grown significantly with nearly 1,100 students currently enrolled in our College of Engineering,” Miller said. “Our newly established Master of Engineering degree will attract the best and brightest graduate students to our university, and our undergraduate degrees in Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering Tech are all nationally accredited.”

Valero’s commitment to student outreach has helped the university expand and enhance its engineering programs and its connections to the local economy and workforce. In addition, their sponsorship of the Coastal Bend Engineering Competition has provided students in grades 6-12 with opportunities to experience engineering through hands-on fun activities while competing against student teams from various area schools.

“Valero was happy to partner with Texas A&M Corpus Christi on the Coastal Bend Engineering Competition. It was a wonderful event that allowed middle and high school students a chance to tackle an engineering problem,” said Kevin Lassahn, Vice President and General Manager, Valero Corpus Christi Refineries.  “A few of our refinery engineers stopped by to see the students’ projects. Events like this one and the additional work the University is doing only strengthens our future workforce. There is certainly a need for more skilled engineers.”

Mrs. Patty Mueller established the Joseph P. Mueller Endowed Scholarship in Engineering in 2016 in memory of her husband. This scholarship has assisted countless Islander students in their academic journeys and has helped the Island University prepare the next generation of engineers in the Coastal Bend. Mueller also established the Patty and Joseph P. Mueller Endowed Scholarship, which assists deserving students in the TAMU-CC College of Business. The university was saddened to learn that Patty passed away on April 2, 2023, and are honored to recognize her legacy.

Islander Bright Nnadi ’23 who is majoring in electrical engineering and minoring in computer science and math, was selected to speak at the luncheon. During his time on campus, Nnadi has participated in numerous research competitions, has interned at Lone Star UAS Center of Excellence and Innovation, and has served on the Student Government Association. He shared how scholarships have positively impacted his academics.

“I have been a scholarship recipient for three consecutive years, and this saved my education and my future. Every scholarship given to me has been cherished by myself and my family,” said Nnadi. “My scholarships give me the strength to continue my journey.”

Dr. David Ma, inaugural COE Dean, paid tribute to the foundational work that paved the way for the new college and shared his optimism for its future.

“It takes dedication and care at every step to launch a new college and I appreciate the hard work and support that has gone into this effort, much of it behind the scenes,” Ma said. “I cannot thank our donors and supporters enough for what they have done to help us all these years. I’m confident that their support will continue as we work towards our mission of bringing about transformative change in the future of engineering education.”