Since 1919

The Prairie News

Since 1919

The Prairie News

Since 1919

The Prairie News

Paul Engler Gives $1 Million to WT in Annual Presentation

Dr. Paul Engler makes his annual presentation of $1 million Aug.30 to West Texas A&M University, represented by President Walter V. Wendler.

CANYON, Texas — Dr. Paul Engler continued a generous tradition Aug. 30 with the distribution of $1 million to West Texas A&M University.

In 2017, 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 private luncheon Aug. 30 in WT’s Old Main building.

“I am convinced that Paul’s gifts to WT to name the two colleges is responsible for other deciding to give across the campus,” said WT President Walter V. Wendler. “Paul’s gift—$80 million over 80 years—reflects the vision and innovation he brought to the Panhandle when he revolutionized the cattle feedlot business in Texas. I admire his grit and determination which is built on his ability to see what others cannot. Paul saw the importance WT for the students, families and communities of the Panhandle, region, state, nation and, from here, the world.”

“We’re in the sixth year of this program. You don’t know what changes you’re going to see in 80 years, not only at the University but in the world,” Engler said. “Both deans have done a very good job in administering these funds, and we anticipate that will continue for the next 74 years.”

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.

That plan is fueled by the historic, $125 million One West comprehensive fundraising campaign. To date, the campaign — which publicly launched in September 2021— has raised more than $125 million and will continue through 2025.

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.

“This gift has truly been transformational for the Paul Engler College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences,” said Dr. Kevin Pond, dean. “During the last five years, Foundation funds have been used to support people through endowed scholarships, professorships and chairs. Funds have provided direct support for programs and in general have been used to teach philanthropy and increase giving from others. A direct permanent impact has been the increase in our College’s endowment balance from $5.8 million when the gift was made to over $15 million today. That is definitely transformational impact in perpetuity.”

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

“The Engler gift has profoundly impacted our college,” said Dr. Amjad Abdullat, dean. “It’s a testament to a firm belief in our College’s mission. The generosity of Dr. Engler and the foundation has sparked our students’ and faculty’s ambition and resilience, reminding us of the power of support and giving. With an impact that’s felt daily, this gift has accelerated our journey towards excellence. We express our gratitude in words and our continuous drive for success, ensuring its legacy benefits many future generations.”

Paul Engler, who was granted an honorary doctorate by WT in 2022, 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 1951 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 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.


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