Mays Lecturer, Strategic Philanthropy Course
Kyle Gammenthaler ’11 learned many lessons about the importance of generosity throughout his time at Texas A&M. Now a lecturer at Mays Business School, Gammenthaler is a leader in encouraging Aggies to think and act more deeply about philanthropy, stewardship, and selfless service.
Gammenthaler’s appreciation for service deepened when he volunteered for the Special Olympics’ Fall Classic during his sophomore year at Texas A&M. What started as an obligation brought great joy to his life and created an unexpected career path. “I was looking at my life and hoping that there would be a connection between my work and the impact I would be able to make to the world,” he said.
After graduation, Gammenthaler joined the United Way of the Brazos Valley as a fundraiser and volunteer coordinator. That job gave him a deep respect for non-profit organizations. “I had this preconceived notion that the non-profit world was touchy-feely and all about the heart,” he said. “I didn’t realize that these organizations operated just like a business, addressing key issues and solving pressing problems. They’re not immune to the challenges other businesses have.”
Gammenthaler returned to Texas A&M in 2012 as a senior academic advisor at Mays and soon began developing the innovative Certificate in Non-Profit and Social Innovation. He also created partnerships with community non-profits and now serves as a board member for several, including his former employer, United Way of the Brazos Valley.
The father of three also brings a first-hand understanding of what it’s like to be on the receiving end of generosity. His oldest son is five and has a rare neuromuscular disease that has taught their family about receiving as well as giving. Numerous examples of generosity have come from what he and his wife describe as their “different normal.” These experiences make Gammenthaler a passionate leader in helping Mays identify deeper ways to have a societal impact. “I feel the responsibility to be keenly aware of the issues and opportunities in our community. That includes identifying and nurturing community partnerships and translating that engagement to our students,” he said. “We want to reach more organizations long-term, and that can happen as long as we have money to distribute through the Strategic Philanthropy course. We also want to find ways that aren’t necessarily in the traditional classroom environment to educate Mays students about generosity and how to live the Aggie Core Value of selfless service.”