One great professor can change a student’s life. They encourage, motivate and inspire us to find our true callings. Former students whose lives have been changed by great professors are now stepping up to ensure future students have that same great experience in the Texas A&M College of Architecture.
By contributing to endowments in the names of beloved faculty, Aggies are creating scholarships and endowed faculty positions to honor these pioneering teachers and mentors and help provide permanent support for scholarships and teaching in their areas of expertise.
As 2019 comes to a close, three such funds are nearing completion. For former students and friends, these endowed funds offer a unique opportunity for year-end giving, honoring remarkable faculty members and supporting and inspiring future generations of Aggies. Read how friends and former students are honoring George Mann, Rodney Hill and Dr. Elton Abbott, Jr. '83 below:
When George Mann arrived from New York in 1966, he likely didn’t know he would spend the next 53 years establishing a groundbreaking architecture-for-health specialization, directing generations of architecture students to important and rewarding professional careers that help heal people around the world.
In recognition of that legacy, and to provide permanent support for teaching and research in healthcare design, two of Mann’s early former students, Ronald Skaggs ’65 and Joseph Sprague ’70, provided lead gifts in a million-dollar effort to create the George J. Mann Endowed Chair in Healthcare Design.
To date, nearly $400,000 has been raised toward a $500,000 goal which will qualify for matching funds from the university. That match doubles the value of each gift to the endowment.
Once established, the Mann chair will be held by the director of the Center for Health Systems & Design. Proceeds from the endowment will provide permanent support for center research and teaching activities as well as enhancement of the chairholder's scholarly activities.
Fresh off this year’s “Rodneypalooza” celebration of Rodney Hill’s 50th year of teaching at Texas A&M is the completion of the Rodney Hill Professorship in Creativity and Design. It will be the latest homage to Hill’s role as the college’s unofficial ambassador of creativity, futurism and student advocacy since 1969.
Named one of DesignIntelligence’s “Most Admired Educators” in 2019, his many accolades are eclipsed only by the profound impact his teaching and mentorship have had on decades of Aggies, both in the College of Architecture and across the university.
The professorship will provide permanent support for a faculty member who reflects Hill’s creative legacy in the college.
Elton Abbott has been offering the world to students in the College of Architecture since he took a group of Aggies on the college’s first study abroad trip to Italy in 1982.
One of the members of that group, David Baker ’83, initiated a $50,000 effort to create the Dr. Elton Abbott, Jr. ’83 Study Abroad Scholarship. This permanent endowment will fund one or more students taking advantage of one of the college’s signature learning experiences each year, including semester-long studies in Italy, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom.
Abbott will soon retire from his current role as associate dean for international studies in the college.