Texas A&M University-Kingsville

Two New Gifts Net $215,000 for A&M-Kingsville Building on Our Traditions Capital Campaign

KINGSVILLE - August 04, 2008

Contact: Jill Scoggins
jill.scoggins@tamuk.edu or 361-593-2146

New Funding Increases Scholarship Support for Students

Three new endowed scholarship funds – two addressing the acute need for professionals in science, math and engineering and the third for first-generation incoming freshmen – have been established at Texas A&M University-Kingsville.

The gifts total $215,000 and have been gained through the university’s Building On Our Traditions capital campaign, a three-year effort begun in 2005 and scheduled to conclude in December. With five more months until completion, the campaign has already exceeded its goal of $10 million by almost $21,000.

An alumnus and his wife have given the university $165,000 to create the Randall and Joyce McCown Odom Endowed Math and Science Scholarship Fund, while the Greater Texas Foundation has provided $50,000 to establish the Greater Texas Foundation Rising to the Challenge Scholarship Program and the Greater Texas Foundation Generation Proud Scholarship Program.

“These gifts provide support in the area we deemed to be the number one priority of the capital campaign – increasing scholarship support for our students,” said Randy Hughes, vice president for institutional advancement. “We are extremely grateful to Randall and Joyce Odom and to the Greater Texas Foundation for helping our students realize their dream of a college education.”

 The need to encourage and support students majoring in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) is more acute than ever before. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that jobs report that STEM jobs have increased by 51 percent in the past decade. At the same time, only five percent of U.S. college students today major in these disciplines. By the end of 2008, about six million jobs requiring STEM education and training will go unfilled, according to labor department analysis.

Students who want to obtain information about specific criteria of these three new scholarship programs or any scholarship program at Texas A&M-Kingsville should contact the Office of Student Financial Aid Services at 1-800-687-6000, 361-593-3911 or financial.aid@tamuk.edu.

About the Randall and Joyce McCown Odom Endowed Math and Science Scholarship Fund

 Endowed by a $165,000 gift, the Randall and Joyce McCown Odom Endowed Math and Science Scholarship Fund supports students majoring in math or the sciences with preference given to students who pursue teacher certification.

Recipients must be enrolled as full-time students and must be residents of the entire South Texas region of the state bordered by the Rio Grande River, the Gulf of Mexico and a line drawn from and including Beaumont in the east, through Austin, to Del Rio in the west. First priority will be granted to junior or senior students majoring in math or the sciences with teacher certification who are admitted to the Teacher Education Program; second priority will be given to any student pursuing a math or science degree.

Randall Odom is a 1957 graduate of Texas A&I University, A&M-Kingsville’s forerunner, where he earned a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering. During his years at A&I, Odom earned a four-year scholarship himself, the Central Power & Light Electrical Engineering Scholarship. He served as commander of the ROTC Corps of Cadets and was commissioned a second lieutenant upon graduation.

Odom has had a distinguished career in engineering, first with Humble Oil, then Exxon (now ExxonMobil) and later with several geosciences companies. His career centered around responsibilities in seismic recording, geophysical engineering and computer information systems management. In 1997, he joined two of his sons in the management of TCS Corporate Services, which provides Hewlitt-Packard printing and imaging equipment and services.

Joyce McCown Odom enjoyed a career that spanned more than 37 years with Delta Airlines before her retirement. The couple lives in San Antonio and has four sons.

About the Greater Texas Foundation Rising to the Challenge Scholarship Program

The Greater Texas Foundation is headquartered in Bryan and serves the people and educational institutions of Texas by supporting programs that increase access to higher education; support teachers; and encourage parental and community involvement in education.

The foundation grew out of the Greater Texas Student Loan Corp. which operated from 1980 to 2001 exclusively to issue tax-exempt bonds, by encouraging financial institutions to participate in the Federal Family Education Loan Program and providing information to schools and students regarding this program. In 2001, the foundation was established to broaden the scope of its efforts to remove barriers to educational opportunities in Texas, and today, continues to support the financing of education by participation in government-sponsored student loan programs

The Greater Texas Foundation, seeing the national need for more students pursuing careers in STEM fields, has created the Rising to the Challenge Scholarship Program with a $25,000 gift to Texas A&M University-Kingsville. The scholarship program supports transfer students who have earned at least 60 credit hours and are majoring in math or the sciences.

About the Greater Texas Foundation Generation Proud Scholarship Program

As Texas has worked to close educational achievement gaps, determining higher education’s role in increasing the number of college graduates in the state is crucial. A key component in this effort is the recruitment and retention of students who are the first in their families to attend college. South Texas has a larger-than-normal concentration of these first-generation students, and Texas A&M-Kingsville serves one of the largest populations of these students in the state.

The Greater Texas Foundation Generation Proud Scholarship Program has been created with a $25,000 gift. This one-year scholarship is intended for incoming freshmen who are the first in their families to go to college and meet other criteria.

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