Campus Life

Texas A&M Geosciences Creating New Satellite Career Center

A recent major gift from Traci ’11 and Curtis Samford ’83 will benefit generations of Texas A&M students.
By Leslie Lee, Texas A&M University College of Geosciences September 1, 2020

rendering of center inside geosciences building
Construction on the center will begin later this year on the first floor of the Eller O&M Building.

Texas A&M College of Geosciences


A new satellite location of the Texas A&M University Career Center is coming to the College of Geosciences, thanks to a recent gift that has officially established the Traci ’11 and Curtis Samford ’83 Geosciences Career Center.

“We are excited for this opportunity to give back to Texas A&M,” Curtis Samford said. “This opportunity to help students find a way to the next level in their life after college, to take that next step — that was very meaningful to us, to help contribute to students’ success.”

The center will be a newly renovated physical space located on the first floor of the Eller O&M Building, and construction will begin later this year. It will also serve as the base of operations for the geosciences associate director of career services, who will lead operations of the center.

“I am just grateful beyond words for the vision and generosity of Traci and Curtis Samford,” said Dean of the College of Geosciences Debbie Thomas. “Their gift is an investment in the future careers of our students and could not have come at a more critical time.”

Geosciences leadership envision the center as a powerful way to leverage its strength as a small college, providing students with unparalleled resources to immediately connect the skills and knowledge they gain in Geosciences degree programs to their future careers.

Room 109 in the O&M Building will be transformed into a highly collaborative facility dedicated to all dimensions of beyond-the-classroom professional development, including internship and career placement. The college used architectural rendering software Sketch Up, part of the new Trimble Technologies Lab to design the center.

“This partnership with the Texas A&M Career Center paves the way for the College of Geosciences to have a dedicated facility and a dedicated associate director within our own space,” Thomas said. “We are also deeply grateful for the support of Provost Fierke, Joe Pettibon, and the Career Center Executive Director Samantha Wilson for their support of our strategic vision.”

Curtis Samford graduated from Texas A&M with a bachelor’s degree in geophysics in 1984, and now serves as the president and chief executive officer for AFG Holdings, a private equity backed OEM serving the oil and gas industry, as well as providing products and services to the broader aerospace/defense and industrial markets. Traci Samford graduated from Texas A&M in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and was an accountant for Anadarko Petroleum Corporation for several years before retiring. Their two sons graduated from Texas A&M in 2011 and 2013.

Thomas said that the new career center will be a visible testament to the Samfords’ investment and the college’s commitment to the power of a Texas A&M Geosciences degree. She also credits former Geosciences Director of Development Gary Reynolds with partnering with the college and the Samfords to make this dream a reality for Geosciences students.

“This partnership with the TAMU Career Center is a game-changing resource for Aggie Geoscientists, and could not have arisen at a more opportune time for our students and their families,” Thomas said.

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