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Texas A&M University-Kingsville Foundation, Inc Celebrates 50 Years

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Forty-six years after President Robert B. Cousins welcomed the first students of today’s Texas A&M University Kingsville to their first day of classes, a small group of loyal and optimistic school donors met to ensure its success into the future.

On December 20, 1971, Joseph C. Martin Jr., Mayor of Laredo, Larry A. McNeil, a 1948 alumnus and Oil and Gas businessman from Corpus Christi, and Dr. James C. Jernigan, president of Texas A&I University in Kingsville, acquired a Certificate of Incorporation from the State of Texas creating the Texas A&I Development Foundation, a nonprofit organization with the sole purpose of supporting the educational efforts of Texas A&I University in perpetuity.

The first organizational meeting was held shortly thereafter, on March 9, 1972, at which the three founders, serving also as the first trustees, unanimously adopted the new organization’s by-laws. In keeping with those by-laws, Martin, who was then president of the Board of Directors of Texas A&I University, automatically became chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation. McNeil was elected vice chairman, and Dr. Jernigan was elected secretary-treasurer.

Chairman Martin then appointed six additional trustees, two from the board of the University, two from the general citizenry of the South Texas region, and two others with demonstrated commitment to the success of Texas A&I.

The $4,700 endowment of the already existing Texas A&I Development Fund was donated to establish the bank account for the new Foundation, and the by-laws clearly laid out the mission and challenge of those original nine trustees of the Texas A&I University Foundation: they were to seek additional assets to increase the endowment in support of the educational mission of Texas A&I University.

Over the following 50 years, the membership of the Board of Trustees has risen to nineteen members, with four emeritus members and two ex-officio members. Collectively, over these 50 years, the trustees have served with distinction, increasing the assets of today’s Texas A&M University Foundation to more than $118 million.

Category: General Univ

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