West Texas A&M University Receives Historic $20 Million Gift

United States North America Higher Education News by Erudera News Oct 13, 2023

Harrington Academic Hall at West Texas A&M University

A $20 million gift to West Texas A&M University will support the establishment of a new institution that will focus on promoting American values, the university has announced.

The donation from Amarillo businessman Alex Fairly and his wife, Cheryl, who both graduated from West Texas A&M, is the largest family gift in the university’s 113-year history, Erudera.com reports.

The new center will be named the “Hill Institute,” in honor of Joseph Hill, the university’s second president and longest-serving leader at the school.

“The Institute will center on ten values: trust, family life, hard work, regard for others, personal responsibility, compatriotism and patriotism, virtue, faith, personal and civic loyalty, and rugged individualism,” the university said in a statement announcing the gift.

WT President Walter Wendler said that through this donation, the Hill Institute will embed students and faculty who want to learn more about how these values impact daily lives and contribute to a better community.

“We want the mission of the Hill Institute to have impact far beyond our region,” Wendler said.

These values also motivated Alex Fairly and his family to contribute to the historic gift. The couple said they believe such values, combined with good teaching, will prepare better engineers, nurses, teachers, musicians, and more.

Wendler stressed the new institute will rely only on private funding, avoiding state resources to highlight the genuine collaboration between the public and private sector, which, according to him, is the “nature of a republican form of government at work.”

The green light for the Hill Insitute was initially given by the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents in February 2022. Since then, the university’s staff has been actively seeking funding to bring the institute closer to becoming a reality.

According to the university’s statement, while the Paul F. and Virginia J. Engler Foundation’s $80 million gift in 2017 remains the most significant donation in the One West campaign and university’s history, the Fairlys’ gift is now the largest among family contributions.

Established in 1910, West Texas A&M University is a public university in Canyon, Texas, with a total enrollment of 9,275 for the fall of 2022. Most students (fall 2022) were women (5,518), and 3,757 were men.

Earlier this year, the school released figures showing the number of undergraduate students at WT has increased. Tuition and fees at The Texas A&M University System are frozen until spring 2025.

Image source: West Texas A&M University Twitter

Related News

Mental Health

Universities in the United States are facing a mental health crisis, with about 70 percent of students admitting they have been dealing with mental health problems since they started college, according to a US News survey.

United States

Jun 11, 2024

student graduating from university

An anonymous American philanthropist and graduate of Columbia University has donated a total of $260 million to Bar-Ilan University in Tel Aviv, the university’s president, Arie Zaban, said.

United States

Jun 10, 2024

US visa rejection

Many international students planning to study in the United States were denied F-1 visas in recent years, especially between 2015 and 2022, a new report has found.

United States

Jun 07, 2024