Mays Business School, November 1st, 2005
Anne and Thomas E. Potthoff ’72, of Fort Worth, have established a $100,000 endowed scholarship for full-time students with a grade-point ratio of 3.0 or higher at Mays. The scholarship is specifically intended for a veteran or a veteran’s child majoring in business.
The gift creates the John and Betty Potthoff Endowed Scholarship in Business. It is named after Tom’s parents, who â€” on an enlisted Navy man’s salary â€” managed to provide opportunities for their children that included saving for Tom’s college education.
“The Potthoffs’ gift is one from the heart that will impact many, many future students at Mays Business School,” said Dean Jerry Strawser. “It also perpetuates the “Aggie Miracle,’ that process through which a person of modest means can achieve their dreams through the generosity of Texas A&M University’s former students.”
Potthoff was the first in his military family to attend college, graduating from Texas A&M with a BBA in management in 1972. He was commissioned in the U.S. Army and after his discharge obtained a bachelor’s in nursing from the University of Texas System School of Nursing, where he met his future wife, Anne Dafcik. After completing a residency in anesthesia, he was on the staff of 17 rural and large community hospitals. In 1987, Tom began the purchase of Town Talk Foods from his father-in-law’s estate and is currently president and majority owner.
“My dad did not have the opportunity to attend college,” Tom Potthoff said. “My grandfather was 100 percent disabled from World War I, so in order to help his family, my dad dropped out of school at 16. He joined the Navy and served 20 years as an enlisted man.
“So many in that generation sacrificed in order for their children to have a better life and Anne and I looked at ways of honoring them. After visiting with Dean Strawser, we thought this would be the ideal way to acknowledge what my parents did for me and their service to our country.”
The Potthoffs have one daughter, Virginia “Ginny” ’05, who was on the A&M Golf Team and is completing the Professional Program at Mays. The Potthoffs still tailgate each Aggie home game in Lot F between the Bright Complex and the Texas A&M Foundation building.