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what your investment in ut makes possible

sep/oct 2014

THE QUIET FRIEND From out of the blue comes a life-changing gift for some of the state’s top students PLUS Help UT RecSports renovate one of its most popular facilities

changing the world What your investment in UT makes possible

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Contents THE QUIET FRIEND An unexpected bequest greatly increases UT’s ability to offer scholarships and fellowships to future engineers

TEAM EFFORT Learn how you can help revitalize the Intramural Fields, one of the university’s most popular facilities

OPEN UP AND SAY HOOK ’EM With Dell Medical School two years away, meet some students who are already getting medical experience

Cover: After giving anonymously to his alma mater for

many years, the late T.W. “Tom” Whaley, PhD ’68, left his entire estate to support top students in the Cockrell School of Engineering. His $35 million gift is the largest UT has received for a scholarship endowment. credit: Kevin Rathge

Above: David Anderson, executor of the Whaley estate, celebrates the announcement of the bequest with his wife, Ann, and son, Matt, who is an engineering alumnus. Flanking the Andersons are UT President Bill Powers and Cockrell School Dean Sharon L. Wood. credit: Cockrell School of Engineering

changing the world What your investment in UT makes possible


A surprise $35 million bequest changes the equation for Texas’ top engineering students.


omething of an enigma during his life ,

T.W. “Tom” Whaley, PhD ’68,

revealed his true nature with what he left behind. The Waco resident who died last year left more than $35 million for scholarships with the goal of bringing the state’s highest achievers to UT. His legacy will be

the generations of Texas students who follow in his footsteps to become engineers.

Above: The gift has greatly

enhanced the Cockrell School of Engineering’s ability to attract the state’s finest students to UT. Opposite: Cockrell School

students Jennifer Lin and Kristen Bateman pose with Alec, the school’s mascot, at a recent recognition event. creditS: From left: Cockrell

School; family photos

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Born in Lorena, Texas, in 1935, Whaley spent his childhood moving from place to place during the last years of the Great Depression. Adopted at age 15, he was given a fresh start by his new mother, a teacher, and father, a banker, who made education a priority. After attending the Allen Academy in Bryan and serving in the Army in Europe, he earned two degrees at Texas A&M and took a job at General Dynamics working on the F-111 aircraft. Ready for more challenges, he arrived at UT in the mid-1960s. Leaving Austin with his newly minted doctor-

ate in electrical engineering at the height of the Cold War, Whaley was recruited by the CIA for his expertise in antenna technology. He traveled the world for years putting his know-how to use for the government before returning to Texas to help his ailing father manage the family farm. Friends in later life had no idea that Whaley, an intensely private man, had earned a PhD or even attended UT, but the university clearly made an impression on him. He was a charter member of Friends of Alec, the Cockrell School’s annual giving program to support future engineering

leaders. The program is named for the school’s plucky patron saint and mascot, whose legend dates to 1908. “Education was very important to him and his family,” says Whaley’s attorney and friend David Anderson, who as executor of Whaley’s estate is fulfilling his vision of helping UT students. “That was something that really motivated him. He left behind a home filled with books, and his family mementos included a carefully preserved letter from his father about the value of a degree.” After contributing to Friends of Alec for many years with a request for anonymity, Whaley, who had no children and whose wife died in 2000, surprised UT leaders by bequeathing his entire estate to endow the T.W. Whaley, Jr. Friends of Alec Endowed Scholarship. It was news to others as well. Ann Anderson, David’s wife, runs a Falls County title company with him and knew the matter-of-fact Whaley for decades through their business dealings. “When I heard Friends of Alec,” she says, “my first question was, ‘Who is Alec?’ ” As Baylor graduates the Andersons can be excused for not knowing the finer details of UT lore. But their daughter, Amy Anderson Lopez, BS ’97, son, Matt Anderson BS ’03, and his wife, Alora Anderson, BBA ’04, make it a burnt orange family. Matt, whose major was aerospace engineering, works for NASA and is part of Mission Control in Houston—a position that grew from a coveted internship through the Cockrell School’s Cooperative Engineering Education Program, which integrates work experience with on-campus study. Unknowingly, he may have played an important role in Whaley’s decision to leave everything to the school. “Dr. Whaley would ask, ‘How’s your son doing?’ ” David Anderson says. “I told him about the wonderful help Matt received from the co-op office in his quest to work at NASA. I had thought when he went down to this large university that he would just be a statistic. But the faculty and staff really took time to help Matt. And Dr. Whaley’s only comment was something like, ‘Well, that’s good to know.’ ” Despite his PhD, his CIA background, and his wealth, Whaley chose to live a quiet, modest lifestyle. His wealth originated from numerous oil and gas royalties and the 4,000 acres of land he partially purchased and partially inherited from his parents. The fortune grew as he accumulated and oversaw a substantial portfolio of stocks and bonds. Those who knew him never suspected he was “the millionaire next door.” Though he was a lifelong recreational pilot—and a member of the Longhorn Flying Club while at UT—he drove a no-frills, 15-year-old Oldsmobile and owned a



he T.W. Whaley, Jr. Friends of Alec Endowed Scholarship is projected to provide about $1.6 million in annual merit scholarships, and that’s before any oil and gas revenue is added in coming years. To put that sum in perspective, last year the Cockrell School awarded just shy of $6 million. So the gift has instantly grown the school’s scholarship program by more than 25 percent. “With his generosity, Dr. Whaley has forever changed the school, and our Whaley Scholars will benefit long after they graduate,” says Cockrell School Dean Sharon L. Wood. “His commitment is a testament to the strength of Texas engineering and to our ability to develop future leaders.” The freshmen selected as the first Whaley Scholars are top performers from throughout Texas. It is tempting for young people of this caliber to leave the

“Receiving the Whaley Scholarship changed my life in a radical way.” – Marshall Tekell Class of 2018

Marshall Tekell

state to attend other prestigious institutions, which often provide them with full-ride scholarships. So when 10 of 14 UT prospects accepted the large, multiyear Whaley Scholarships the Cockrell School offered this first year, it was a solid endorsement of the school’s quality and growing national reputation. It also fulfills Whaley’s wish for the best Texas students to become engineers in their home state. Freshman Marshall Tekell is from Whaley’s hometown of Waco. “Receiving the Whaley Scholarship changed my life in a radical way,” says the chemical engineering major. “Not only does it remove an enormous burden from my family, it allows me to envision my education far into the future. Dr. Whaley essentially gave me the freedom to follow his example, and to hopefully make the world a better place.”

modest home. He enjoyed and closely followed the farming and ranching activities on his land. With the recent rise in drilling productivity from hydraulic fracturing and other technological advances, Anderson believes the university can expect much more funding to come. “I really think that in the long run, there will be far more continuing income from the mineral rights,” he says. “There are 700 mineral interests in 10 states, and Dr. Whaley’s annual mineral income was typically in the neighborhood of $300,000 to $500,000. But there have been years when it was as much as $1.8 million.” UT President Bill Powers applauds Whaley’s foresight in leaving behind an investment that will help future generations launch far-reaching careers. “His vision will be achieved time and time again,” Powers says. “His bequest will provide incredible opportunities for some of Texas’ most talented young people.”

T.W. “Tom” Whaley

Those who knew Whaley never suspected he was “the millionaire next door.”

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changing the world What your investment in UT makes possible


If you have fond memories of your glories at the Intramural Fields, UT RecSports wants your help to renovate one of its most popular facilities.





W hitaker F ields C omplex

has been central to

Longhorn life. With its 18 football and soccer fields, eight softball diamonds, and 40 tennis courts, the 35-acre site at 51st and Guadalupe Streets draws thousands of intramural and club sports players for

exercise and friendly competition. Now, decades since its last revamp, the Division of Recreational Sports has a game plan to help Whitaker continue to flourish.

Above: Texas Men’s Soccer

takes on North Texas at the Whitaker Fields Complex. Opposite: Lana Groenvynck represents UT at a team match; athletic training major Sergio Valverde wraps an athlete’s ankle. Credits: From left: Division

of Recreational Sports; UT Athletics; Charlotte Carpenter

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“After so many years of intense usage as one of UT’s primary outdoor recreational facilities, Whitaker needs a major renovation,” says Joe Bill Watkins, BA ’65, LLB ’68, a longtime volunteer and donor who chairs the RecSports Leadership Team. “And that presents us with the opportunity to make the facility one of the finest in the nation.” With a total cost estimated at $20 million, student fees totaling $10 million have been committed for infrastructure improvements including sod, irrigation, and drainage work, updated lighting, and repairs to existing systems. The other $10 million is being sought from donors

who want to help revitalize Whitaker for the enjoyment of future generations of students. The campaign, dubbed “For the Love of the Field,” will help fund: • A Championship Corner with stadium-style amenities for tournaments and special events • Synthetic fields to supplement grass and allow for year-round usage regardless of weather • A Gateway Building with lockers, training and meeting space, and an open-air pavilion • Perimeter fencing and systems to protect the space for students and other eligible users • Additional restrooms, water stations, shaded areas, seating, and landscaping

Advancing Health While gifts of any size are welcome, name recognition opportunities are available for larger commitments, and some donors have stepped forward already. Anyone who played intramural football from the mid-1950s on will not be able to forget the formidable Legal Eagles and the sense of pride, excellence, and camaraderie the late coach (and longtime UT law professor) Charles Alan Wright instilled in his team. Hundreds of individuals who played for Wright, as well as those who have carried on the Legal Eagles’ winning tradition, hope to honor his legacy with a collective gift that will name the Charles Alan Wright Fields at the Whitaker Sports Complex.

Each year, Whitaker welcomes

400 flag football teams 300 softball teams 250 soccer teams “From archery to rugby to Ultimate Frisbee contests, the Whitaker Fields Complex is a place where students can form relationships and develop leadership skills while having fun and staying fit,” says RecSports director Tom Dison. “Supporting the renovation effort is supporting student success.” Get involved at

open up and say hook ’em


tudents who visit a University Health Services clinic are led into a room by a friendly staffer, who verifies their information and checks vital signs. The routine is carried out so knowledgeably that it’s easy to forget the staffer also is a student, perhaps even younger than the patient. The students of the UHS Clinic Volunteer Program are perfectly comfortable in the health care setting thanks to their onsite clinical training. Within about a month, they’re measuring blood pressure and heart rate, checking vision, and entering patient data. Though the typical volunteer is in a health-related academic program, any UT student can apply, so the UHS volunteers are a diverse group. “It’s exciting to have art or government majors who have some other reason to volunteer, whether that’s giving back to the UT community or just trying something on for size,” says UHS director of nursing services Kathy Mosteller. Senior biochemistry major Luis Seija vividly recalls his first solo clinical encounters with a good-humored grin. “The first time I went independent was



ith construction underway for the Dell Medical School, Texas Tennis is getting a new home. Replacing the Penick-Allison Tennis Center on Trinity Street, which has been the headquarters for UT’s varsity teams since 1986, a new outdoor tennis center at the Whitaker Fields Complex is being planned to provide a top-notch venue for the men’s and women’s programs. Donor support is welcome. The facility will be adjacent to Whitaker ’s open recreation tennis courts and will have at least 12 dedicated courts and seating for 1,200, enabling the university to continue hosting competitions at the conference, national, and international levels. The plan includes a welcome center, lounge and locker rooms, training areas, coaches’ offices, and plenty of parking. Learn more at or contact the Longhorn Foundation at 512-471-4439.

the scariest moment of my life,” he says. “Just being in there alone, trying not to mess up, to say things with enough conviction so the patient thinks you know what you’re doing.” After three years with UHS, Seija is now an assistant to the program coordinator. He is applying to medical schools and believes his practical skills will give him an edge over other applicants.

Elsewhere on campus, another group of students likewise has access to topnotch medical education and training.

“The first time I went independent was the scariest moment of my life.”

– Luis Seija Class of 2015

While Longhorn athletes enjoy a high profile among their peers and alumni, on the sidelines are classmates who also play a valuable role in bringing home the wins: students in the Athletic Training Education Program, which offers a bachelor’s degree through the Department of Kinesiology & Health Education. These students support athletic training and sports medicine staff by working on everything from providing first aid to assisting in post-injury rehabilitation. Patient interaction is under the supervision of mentors who are certified and licensed athletic trainers. The objective is to put classroom and laboratory knowledge to use while preparing for careers as athletic trainers, physical therapists, physician assistants, chiropractors, and doctors. Although the participants have different goals, they all seem to have two things in common: a love of sports and a dedication to the student-athletes. “It just gives you chills watching athletes get back into their prime and knowing you were a part of that process,” says senior Sergio Valverde between wrapping football players’ ankles at a recent practice. “It’s very rewarding.” Another perk: Hands-on medical experience. Renae Greening is a student athletic trainer who, like Seija at UHS, has her sights set on med school. “I will be going up against a lot of majors who haven’t had any patient interaction,” she says. Game on.

A longer version of this story by UT junior Charlotte Carpenter is at know. Learn more about University Health Services at and athletic training education at Both programs welcome donor support.

Changing the World is produced by the University Development Office. Please send your feedback and suggestions to editor Jamey Smith at For more news and information about giving to UT, visit

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Changing the World Sept.–Oct. 2014  
Changing the World Sept.–Oct. 2014