The most aggressive scholarship campaign in the history of the Texas A&M College of Agriculture and Life Sciences began today with an announcement by Jeffrey W. Savell, Ph.D., vice chancellor and dean of agriculture and life sciences, of the Dean’s Excellence Scholarships.

A group of College of Agriculture and Life Sciences students stand outside in a garden atmosphere listening to a class.
The Dean’s Excellence Scholarships will support incoming freshmen as they achieve their goals and receive an undergraduate degree in the competitive fields of agriculture and the life sciences. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Sam Craft)

The campaign will create a series of $100,000 endowments as part of a large initiative for the College to recruit and support undergraduate students. These endowments will create numerous four-year scholarships of $4,000 or more per year.

To kick off the campaign and immediately begin supporting students in the fall of 2023, Savell has pledged the College to fund 60 scholarships for 2023 and 2024 entering freshman, 30 scholarships for each year.

Focused on finding high-achieving students in Texas and beyond, the Dean’s Excellence Scholarships will support students who excel holistically and are pursuing bachelor’s degrees within the College.

The campaign’s first fundraising goal is to create at least 30 scholarship endowments by the end of 2023, Savell said.  

“It’s an utmost priority for me to recruit the best and brightest students to the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences,” Savell said. “We want to make sure our students are set up for success as they graduate and begin their careers or go on to professional or graduate school.”

Beginning a new legacy of student support

This announcement marks the first set of Dean’s scholarships for the College, and Savell said the endowments create a legacy for all future deans to continue the support of student excellence.

“Four-year scholarships allow us to reciprocate the commitment that students are making to us when they enroll to Texas A&M College of Agriculture and Life Sciences,” Savell noted. “This lets students and the College begin an educational journey together based on mutual responsibility and support. A four-year scholarship can be life-changing for some.”

A man in military dress shakes hands on a College of Agriculture and Life Sciences graduation stage with others behind him
While the Dean’s Excellence Scholarships will support all areas of study and are open to all incoming students, the first year will have an additional focus on first-generation and Corps of Cadet students. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Michael Miller)

While the Dean’s Excellence Scholarships are meant to support all areas of study and are open to all incoming students, the first year will have an additional focus on future Corps of Cadets members and first-generation students. Both these groups are emphasized in Texas A&M University’s recruitment mission.

“We’re looking for the best students,” Savell explained. “We’ve included Corps of Cadets as a focus area because of our long and close relationship with the Corps, and in support of President Banks’ March to 3,000 initiative to increase the Corps membership to 3,000 members.”

“About one-fourth of our students today are first generation,” Savell said. “We have a responsibility to help plant the seed for generations to come. These investments will change family trees and improve society by advancing all areas of agriculture and life sciences. As a first-generation student myself, I feel this deeply.”  

A growing population of potential students

As the Texas population nears 30 million residents, Savell explained that he is working to increase the number of students enrolled at the College. In his “State of AgriLife” address given to Texas A&M AgriLife employees today, he highlighted the comprehensive nature of the College, mentioning that the fields of study within agriculture and life sciences impact every part of Texans’ lives. The College’s 15 departments range from traditional production agriculture to biophysics, biological engineering, forensics, nutrition, ecology, conservation, hospitality, tourism and beyond.

For information about the scholarships, please visit the Dean’s Excellence Scholarships.

For more information on how to create a Dean’s Excellence Scholarship Endowment, please contact Jennifer Ann Scasta, senior director of development, at [email protected] or 979-845-7594.

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