The Texas A&M College of Agriculture and Life Sciences held a tree dedication at The Gardens at Texas A&M University on Sept. 22 in honor of the Dean’s Excellence Scholarship program, the largest scholarship campaign in the history of the College.

The first cohort for this program has been selected and just began their first academic year at Texas A&M. Jeffrey W. Savell, Ph.D., vice chancellor and dean of Agriculture and Life Sciences, said the new tree will serve as a lasting symbol of the program.

“I love the saying that one generation plants the trees, and the next generation enjoys the shade,” Savell said. “We are planting a tree in gratitude for what we’ve been given, to commemorate this scholarship campaign and to remind us all to help future generations.”

A group of students, leadership around the small tree in The Gardens
The Texas A&M College of Agriculture and Life Sciences held a tree dedication at The Gardens at Texas A&M University in honor of the Dean’s Excellence Scholarship Program. (Texas A&M AgriLife photo by Michael Miller)

Exceptional students positioned to excel

Students within the Dean’s Excellence Scholarship program are some of the best and brightest future leaders. Selected as incoming freshmen, they will receive $4,000 per year for four years to assist in funding their undergraduate education. The student scholars will also have access to special events hosted by the College. Exclusive opportunities will allow the students to engage and network with leadership across Texas A&M AgriLife, the agriculture and life sciences industries, and more.

“Getting this scholarship means that the College is investing in my education,” said Johanna Jacob, a Dean’s Excellence Scholar and genetics major. “It makes me want to do more and be better than I even originally planned.”

Every year, the college will welcome a new round of scholars. The campaign was established by Savell earlier this year with the Texas A&M Foundation. The goal of the campaign is to create 120 $100,000 endowments. The endowments create the scholarships in perpetuity, ensuring a lasting impact. Every scholar now and in the future can enjoy the shade from this tree for many years to come.

Supporting students on a journey of success

The program is designed to support all areas of study within the College. Additionally, the first year of this program held an additional focus on recruiting Corps of Cadets members and first-generation students.

Savell said the scholars within this program are shining examples of excellence within the College and will accomplish many great things in their time at Texas A&M University and beyond. “We want to make sure the students in our College succeed. This program is one of the ways we support them.”

For more information on Dean’s Excellence Scholarships, visit

To learn about creating a Dean’s Excellence Scholarship Endowment, contact Jennifer Ann Scasta, assistant vice president for development, at [email protected] or 979-845-7594.

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