Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Donor Stories

Sam Fugate

My family supports Texas A&M University – Kingsville because of tradition.  A lot of my family members graduated from the University.  My wife is a graduate.  My son, who I practice law with, is a graduate.  I have two sons that attend the University now.  We just like working with the people at the University.  It also helps make the community a place that you want to live in and raise a family.  The University was my backyard growing up.  An institution like this attracts so many people from different walks of life.  It just becomes a focal point of a small town like ours.  One of the ways we give back to the University is through the Dick Hitchens Memorial Scholarship.  Dick Hitchens was my law partner and he was an avid Javelina athletics booster who loved the school and its rich tradition.  When he passed, my wife and I thought that contributing to the scholarship was most befitting to honor his memory.  Giving provides such great satisfaction in knowing that we’re helping kids that maybe wouldn't’t have opportunities to get a good education otherwise.  You have to look at where state funding is now, and it’s going to even get cut more.  To provide a quality education for these kids it is imperative that the private sector contributes some funding, and that’s where we as citizens come in.  You have to give back to your school.

- Sam Fugate, Mayor of Kingsville, TX


Dr. David and Sue SabrioAfter living and working in this community for twenty-seven years, the university has become like a family to us. We want to see our community and university family members grow intellectually and become successful. Our positions here are more than just jobs; they are vocations. Teaching is our calling. How can we not be involved? We started the scholarship to help students pay for their education. We also started the scholarship to show our appreciation for all that students have done for us over the years: participating in the teaching-learning process, showing their appreciation, giving encouraging feedback, and affirming our efforts after they have graduated. In addition, we know from personal experience the transformative power of higher education. We believe strongly that – of all the range of goods, services, and activities one can spend money on – education is one of the most important in terms of changing lives for the better. We believe that the cost of quality higher education is well worth the expense. However, we also know that the cost is not inexpensive. Many of our best students need some kind of financial aid to continue and complete their education. Keeping these quality students enrolled is one of the best ways to ensure that the quality of education here at TAMUK remains high. We truly feel that we benefit as much from giving the scholarships as the students do from receiving the scholarships. Scholarships are another way of fostering student engagement among our best students. Scholarship students feel that the university has made a commitment to them, and they in turn are more likely to become involved both inside and outside the classroom. We also see scholarships as investments in the futures of our students and in the communities where they eventually settle. The “ripple effect” of higher education can last for generations. We know too that some scholarship recipients, as they advance in their careers, will remember how they benefited from a scholarship; and this positive memory may help lead them to establish a scholarship fund to help students in need, just as they were helped. The biggest benefit we get is the sense of fulfillment that we may have helped students in some small way to complete their studies, students who otherwise may not have been able to afford a college degree, or students who may have had to go further into debt. Another benefit is that the interest generated by the endowment will ensure that students will keep on receiving scholarships long after we have completed our careers here at Texas A&M University-Kingsville.

- Dr. David & Sue Sabrio, Texas A&M University - Kingsville Faculty


Lucille KruseThis University has meant so much to my family. Both my husband and I were students here. He graduated with his bachelors, and then came back when he finished his graduate work to teach here for 44 years and served as chairman of the Physics department for 31 of those years. My son studied language here for two years before graduating from the University of Texas and continuing his career in the field of foreign language. When he passed away, my husband and I started the Larry Kruse Memorial Scholarship in honor of our son. He had such a love for foreign language, we couldn’t think of a better way to perpetuate his memory than that scholarship. It is usually awarded to someone that studies foreign language, typically French. And since my husband was such a dedicated faculty member, we also decided to help the University out by establishing the Olan Kruse Science Faculty Award. It is an award given to a faculty member each year based on criteria of teaching and research excellence. We’ve contributed in the areas we’re interested in because we want to continue to see them do well. Scholarships and awards like these encourage extra effort from young scholars and recognize students and faculty that do great work. They help provide recognition and appreciation for their pursuit of excellence. It has been such a blessing for us that hard working students might benefit from these opportunities.

- Lucille Kruse


Dr. John Talmer & Corky PeacockI came to the university as an instructor in 1955. I had offers to go elsewhere, but this was home to me. As a teacher, in the classroom I would observe students. I was inspired by those hard-working students who were high-achieving, and I felt that it was important to give back to aid them. So I started a biology support fund to help students gain research experience. The fund helps to fund research, helps students in attending meetings, presenting papers and other things that we felt were important. The entire time I was associated with Texas A&M – Kingsville I worked with some great teachers in some great programs. A student could get a good education here, and the opportunities have gotten better over the years. We hope that we can do a little bit to help the university to continue to develop great young minds. We get such a satisfaction knowing that good, achieving students are being helped through our support.

- Dr. John Talmer & Corky Peacock

This page was last updated on: December 12, 2013