Fifth Anniversary of Historic Engler Gift to WT Marked During Annual $1 Million Disbursement Ceremony

Fifth+Anniversary+of+Historic+Engler+Gift+to+WT+Marked+During+Annual+%241+Million+Disbursement+Ceremony

Chip Chandler

Copy by Chip Chandler, 806-651-2124, [email protected]

 

CANYON, Texas — The impact of the historic $80 million gift to West Texas A&M University from Dr. Paul Engler continues to reverberate almost five years after its announcement.

In 2017, Engler and the Paul F. and Virginia J. Engler Foundation agreed to donate $1 million a year for at least 80 years to both the University’s Paul Engler College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences and the Paul and Virginia Engler College of Business.

The latest annual disbursements—$500,000 each to the Engler College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences and the Engler College of Business—were made during a special event Aug. 26 in the central administration suite inside WT’s Old Main building.

“Through the two colleges named for Paul and his late wife Virginia, initiatives across the campus are taking place initiated by the Engler Foundation gifts. Gifts like Paul’s ensure students have access to exceptional educational experiences and faculty can focus research efforts on issues that make WT a regional research institution,” WT President Walter V. Wendler said. “We want to take the knowledge and solutions we discover here to the world.”

“This gift is being stewarded to enhance WT’s presence as an outstanding regional research University,” Engler said. “Since 2017, when the gift was initially given, endowments in both Colleges have increased almost threefold. There’s so much to be proud of within these two Colleges. I’m thankful for great leadership that focuses on student success and educational attainment, faculty research and new professorships. The learning environment is outstanding, and I’m confident that we have a solid future with WT.”

The Engler gift helped make possible the construction of the Agricultural Sciences Complex on Russell Long Boulevard, continuing WT’s expansion in the northeast area of campus. Since then, the Veterinary Education, Research and Outreach and Texas Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory facilities have been constructed, soon to be joined by the new Texas A&M University AgriLife Research and Extension Center. Meanwhile, the Natural Sciences Building expanded in its recently renovated home on the southeast corner of campus.

“The Engler College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences’ endowment has grown to more than $15 million, thanks in part to the Engler gift and to additional fundraising successes it inspired,” said Dr. Kevin Pond, dean. “The gift provided matching scholarship funds for about 70 students during the 2021-22 academic year.”

The Engler College of Business enjoys the largest enrollment of any college at WT— 2,662 as of fall 2021. (Fall 2022 numbers are not yet available.)

More than $500,000 in scholarship funds specific to the College are awarded to students annually, and its innovative programing ranges from community partnerships tackling issues such as cybersecurity to a specialized MBA track in procurement.

“The annual Engler Foundation gift has been instrumental in advancing the Engler College of Business, reaching higher levels of distinction and recognition in service to students, alumni and the community,” said Dr. Amjad Abdullat, dean. “A range of opportunities is possible because of the Engler Foundation gift, including our highly ranked business programs recognized in multiple outlets such as U.S. News & World Report, the Princeton Review and Fortune.”

Paul Engler, who was granted an honorary doctorate at WT’s May commencement ceremonies, is the perfect example of a self-made man who has found success in the cattle industry. The Nebraska native’s business skill started at an early age when he purchased his first herd of cattle at the age of 12. He used the proceeds from cattle sales to fund his college education, and he graduated in 1948 from the University of Nebraska with a degree in agriculture. By 1960, he was the founder/owner/operator of the Hereford Feedyard, establishing the Texas Panhandle as a force in the cattle industry. Under his leadership, Cactus Feeders became the largest cattle-feeding company in the world. A pioneer of the Texas cattle-feeding industry, Engler has received numerous honors and recognition throughout his career, which include induction into the Meat Industry Hall of Fame and the Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame.

The Paul F. And Virginia J. Engler Foundation is a family endeavor and reflects the love of family and the communities Paul and Virginia serve, including the Texas Panhandle. The late Virginia ‘Jinx’ Joan Kreycik Engler was a dedicated philanthropist throughout her life. She loved helping people and shared her kindness and generosity with everyone she met. That generosity and kindness provided the groundwork in helping the community through their foundation.  Commitment to higher education in the region is not new for the Engler Foundation, as generations of emerging business leaders at WT have benefitted from the long-established Virginia Engler Scholarship.

The Engler gift was one of the foundational gifts that made the $125 million One West comprehensive fundraising campaign a reality.

The campaign is the fuel for the University’s long-range plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World.

To date, the One West campaign has raised more than $110 million.

 

 

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