Many changes have taken place on the campus of Texas A&M University since Paul “Buck” Eckels ’52 was a business student here. As the school has moved forward, Eckels has been a part of the progress as an active Aggie supporter. Recently he and his wife, Sandra, announced an estate gift of $3.5 million to Mays Business School.

“I’m so impressed with what they’ve done at the business school and we want to help them along,” said Eckels. Their gift will establish a need-based scholarship fund for business undergraduates.

Mays’ interim dean Ricky Griffin appreciates the Eckels’ willingness to help in this way. “It’s no secret that the cost of higher education grows each year,” he said. “While Texas A&M University is still among the most affordable leading institutions in the country, costs here continue to grow as well. The scholarship fund to be established with the Eckels’ gift will help insure that deserving students will still be able to pursue a Mays degree regardless of their financial situation.”

“I just hope that some students get the help that they need,” said Eckels, who says he wants to help “ordinary kids,” like himself, to attend school. This gift follows two other gifts the Eckels have made to Mays in the form of charitable remainder annuity trusts, which total almost $700,000 and will be used to establish an endowed professorship.

Eckels describes himself as a “gentleman farmer,” as he currently spends his time growing trees commercially. Prior to this venture, he owned Lawyers Title Co. of Houston—a title insurance business—for 30 years. The Eckels divide their time between their home in Houston and their farm in the bay area.