The Texas A&M University-Kingsville Foundation announced Aug. 23 the largest singular gift from an individual in the university’s almost 100-year history. The $19.5 million bequest is also the leading commitment to date for the Texas A&M University-Kingsville's first comprehensive fundraising campaign "With You. Without Limits. The Campaign."
Given by an anonymous donor, the transformational gift will include more than 7,800 acres of Texas ranchland, at present valued at $16 million, plus $3.5 million in cash — all dedicated to King Ranch Institute for Ranch Management (KRIRM), the announcement said.
“Texas A&M University-Kingsville is honored to receive this tremendous gift that will have a significant impact on the King Ranch Institute for Ranch Management. Through this donor’s immense generosity, our students, faculty and researchers will be able to expand the work to which they are committed, managing our nation’s range and wildlife and preserving our rich ranching tradition. A historic gift of this nature reflects a tremendous vision and spirit of philanthropy and we are incredibly grateful,” said Dr. Mark A. Hussey, president of Texas A&M University-Kingsville.
This partnership will allow students pursuing a master’s degree through KRIRM the opportunity to conduct real-world case studies on land and animal management, including brush control, grazing management, livestock management, wildlife management and marketing. The investment of cash will establish an operations and management endowment that enables KRIRM to manage the ranch to support teaching, applied research and outreach to ranching industry stakeholders according to the KRIRM mission, the announcement explained.
A portion of the planned gift will support the veterinary technology program at Texas A&M-Kingsville and provide scholarships for students attending veterinary school.
Texas A&M-Kingsville publicly launched its fundraising campaign in April 2018. With this planned gift, donors have now given $94.6 million, nearing the campaign goal of $100 million in private support. The university has recorded more than 19,000 gifts from more than 4,600 donors since the campaign’s inception, with each gift securing the university’s future while preserving and honoring its unique heritage as an integral part in the success of south Texas.
“On behalf of the board of trustees of Texas A&M-Kingsville Foundation, we are ecstatic about this donor’s investment in the university, and specifically the King Ranch Institute for Ranch Management,” said Brad Walker, vice president for institutional advancement and foundation chief executive officer. “We know that Texas A&M-Kingsville is without limits, but to achieve the university’s mission, it really does take the support of individual donors and alumni. This planned gift ensures a tremendous future for both the institute and the university.”
KRIRM teaches graduate students using a multidisciplinary systems approach to ranch management and provides lectureships and symposia to stakeholders in the ranching industry.