The College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and its departments provided $3.35 million in annual scholarships to undergraduate students for the 2022-2023 academic year, supporting student success and advancement.

A donor woman hugs a scholarship recipient.
Donor Betty Settlemeyer hugs a scholarship recipient during Legacy and Leadership at the Texas A&M Hotel and Conference Center in College Station. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Michael Miller)

The impact of these gifts by donors, including former students, industry professionals and commodity groups, was celebrated at the annual Legacy and Leadership event on Sept. 30.

Chris Skaggs, Ph.D., professor, associate dean for student development in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences and associate vice chancellor for producer relations for Texas A&M AgriLife, said the generosity of donors has a ripple effect throughout students’ academic careers and beyond.    

Scholarships totaling $2.8 million from donors supported 2,500 undergraduate students, from freshmen to seniors, within the College during 2022, Skaggs said.

Students received an additional $554,000 from 554 scholarships available through 15 departments within the College. The College and its departments received 34 new scholarships from donors in 2022.

“It is important for us to spotlight these scholarships because it is a way to say, ‘Thank you’ to the donors, but also ‘Congratulations’ to the deserving recipients past and present,” he said. “I know these gifts mean a lot to the students. Being able to give back means a lot to the donors, and I think the impact of their support goes beyond the dollars.” 

Scholarships alleviate stress, provide incentive

Scholarship recipients’ majors and career goals run the gamut of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences from animal science and agronomy to ecology and agricultural communications, he said.

“Scholarships help cover the academic expenses and alleviate some of the financial stress related to seeking a degree,” he said. “The opportunity for scholarships is important to parents and students. We want to help ensure incoming students are aware of and apply for these scholarships to help support their educational experience at Texas A&M.”

Students who attended the Legacy and Leadership event noted that scholarships allowed them to feel more supported during their time at Texas A&M.

Scholarship preferences can be directed toward students with specific backgrounds and goals based on criteria set by the donor, Skaggs said. Some scholarships are program- and/or major-specific; others may require the recipient to be a first-generation college student, military veteran, or from a farming/ranching background, specific region or city in Texas. The scholarship criteria also add an incentive for students to investigate coursework, majors and careers they have not considered.

Skaggs said donors appreciate knowing their gift is going to students with backgrounds they may relate to or want to support. In the case of industry and/or commodity donors, they are supporting high-achieving students who will eventually enter the field.

The Legacy and Leadership event is a great opportunity for donors and recipients to recognize the bond these scholarships represent on a personal level for both.

“It’s rewarding to see these students progress and all the academic work and personal growth they’ve made during their time here, and to know they are prepared for their career and life,” he said. “These scholarships are an important part of each student’s journey, and we appreciate that the donors make a difference by giving back.”

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