Former student's gift makes beloved CoSci prof Segner namesake for auditorium

Don Weaver

Bob Segner

Robert Segner

The signature classroom in the renovated Francis Hall, which will house Texas A&M’s Department of Construction Science this spring, will be named for Bob Segner, a professor who has been teaching students, many of whom are now leaders in the building industry, since 1970.

“I can’t think of a better way to honor Bob, who has played such a pivotal role in the education and careers of Aggie construction science students,” said Don Weaver ’76, who donated $250,000 to name the auditorium after Segner.

Weaver earned a Bachelor of Building Construction degree at Texas A&M and now serves as president of The Urban Companies, a Houston-based real estate and design/build company.

Segner, he said, was a major influence in his career, as well as that of his son, David Lee, who earned a Bachelor of Building Construction degree in 1993. Lee is a vice-president at the company.

“Don’s gift reflects the tremendous loyalty former students have for the construction science program and the universal admiration and respect professor Segner has among those who learned about the industry from him,” said Joe Horlen, head of the Department of Construction Science.

A former yell leader who earned a master's degree in construction management at Texas A&M in 1971 and a Bachelor of Science in Architectural Construction in 1969, Segner has long been one of the most beloved professors in the Department of Construction Science, where he as taught since 1970. He specializes in construction management, project delivery systems, construction materials and methods, construction project management and continuing education of all kinds.

When renovated, the 1,700 square-foot, 120-seat Robert O. Segner, Jr. Auditorium, centerpiece of the historic Francis Hall, will be lit by a skylight, part of the building’s original design that had been covered by roofing for many years, said Horlen. It will also be restored to its original two-story layout after occupying only the building’s second floor since it was halved in the 1950s.

Two-thirds of private funding to match $4.5 million the university has provided for the Francis Hall renovation has been committed, with construction scheduled to begin this fall and classes scheduled beginning in the spring 2015 semester.

Giving opportunities abound

Naming opportunities remain for Francis Hall’s classrooms, offices and student facilities, said Horlen.

Donors can also have their names placed at the auditorium’s entrance with a gift of $100,000 or more, or even be listed on one of the auditorium’s seats for a donation of $5,000 or more.

“It will be like having a permanent seat in Segner’s class,” he said.

Weaver’s gift is the latest in a series of contributions from former students and companies, including $150,000 from Vaughn Construction to name the Vaughn Construction Student Collaboration Center, $50,000 from Bartlett Cocke to sponsor a survey lab, and $50,000 from Austin Commercial for a faculty break room.     

The renovated 35,000 square foot building, which originally housed veterinary medicine at Texas A&M when built in 1918, will be the first academic building in the state of Texas devoted solely to construction science education.

For more information about the Francis Hall fundraising campaign, contact Horlen at jhorlen@arch.tamu.edu or 979.845.8161 or speake with Larry Zuber, assistant vice president for development with the Texas A&M Foundation, at l-zuber@tamu.edu or 979.845.0939.

posted July 8, 2013