Texas Ex Leaves $35 Million to UT’s Engineering School

Screen Shot 2014-08-07 at 1.17.12 PM

A $35 million donation to UT’s engineering school has just made UT history as the largest scholarship endowment the Forty Acres has ever seen.

T. W. “Tom” Whaley Jr., PhD ’68, who died in 2013, gave $35 million to create the T. W. Whaley Jr. Friends of Alec Endowed Scholarship. The scholarship will go to 34 students this year and is expected to grow to 60-80 students in future years.

Engineering dean Sharon L. Wood said that the funds will help UT attract the most talented students in Texas.

“The really top students in Texas get lured out of state because they get multiyear scholarships from schools like Georgia Tech, MIT, and Purdue,” Wood told the Austin American-Statesman. We want to offer them financial aid packages that will attract them to come to the University of Texas.”

A native of Lorena, Texas, Whaley earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Texas A&M before working on F-111 airplanes at General Dynamics. After getting his PhD in electrical engineering at UT, he worked at the CIA on antenna technology. Whaley also managed his family’s 4,000-acre farm and its substantial oil and gas royalties.

Whaley’s gift, which came as a surprise to university officials in the form of a simple one-page will, also includes 700 properties with mineral rights. According to Wood, those rights could bring in an additional $300,000-$500,000 each year.

Photo courtesy Phil Roeder.



Tags: , , , , ,