Campus Life

Two Of Texas A&M’s Most Generous Donors Team Up To Support The College Of Arts And Sciences

Melbern G. Glasscock ’59 and Jon Hagler ’58 are contributing matching funds toward a significant gift to support faculty.
By Heather Rodriguez, Texas A&M University College of Arts and Sciences June 6, 2024

the Academic Building
The Academic Building on the Texas A&M campus.

Texas A&M University Division of Marketing and Communications

 

Susanne and Melbern G. Glasscock '59
Susanne and Melbern G. Glasscock ’59

Texas A&M Foundation

Texas A&M University former students and dedicated university supporters Melbern G. Glasscock ’59 and Jon Hagler ’58 have together established a gift to support faculty in the College of Arts and Sciences. College officials say they intend for the gifts from the namesakes of two buildings on campus — the Melbern G. Glasscock Building and the Jon L. Hagler Center — to support faculty as the bedrock of the college and its long-term success.

“Texas A&M is developing a greater reputation all the time, and we want that track to continue,” Glasscock said. “We want to expose other people to Texas A&M and its values and to attract faculty and students who will bring national recognition to Texas A&M, not just while they’re here, but when they graduate and move on.”

Funds provided by Glasscock and his wife, Susanne, have been matched by the Jon L. Hagler Foundation Chair and Professorship Matching Fund in the College of Arts and Sciences to establish two endowed professorships and the Susanne M. and Melbern G. Glasscock ’59 Endowed Chair in Arts and Sciences.

“Hiring talented faculty is the lifeblood of a university and essential in the College of Arts and Sciences as the academic heart of Texas A&M University and home of pure discovery and basic knowledge creation,” said Dr. Mark J. Zoran, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences. “Academic chairs and professorships are instrumental in attracting the most sought-after faculty to ensure our ability to maintain the highest standard of excellence in all facets of our teaching, research and service. We are grateful to the Glasscocks and Mr. Hagler for their generous support that makes it possible for Texas A&M Arts and Sciences to be successful in delivering world-class research and scholarship, training future leaders and accelerating discovery.”

Jon Hagler ’58
Jon Hagler ’58

Texas A&M Foundation

Powerful Potential

The Glasscock-Hagler partnership parallels the merged humanities and sciences that together represent the powerful potential of the new college. While Glasscock and his wife were longtime supporters of the legacy College of Liberal Arts, they believe that these two fields of study are better together.

“There’s always the question of, ‘Should you do this?’,” Glasscock posited. “For example, we know how to build a bridge, but we need to talk about why we should or if we should. There are so many aspects of the humanities to consider when you’re working with science.”

Throughout the years, Hagler has also supported liberal arts and the humanities. He recently directed his attention and giving to address civil issues.

“I’ve had discussions about a gift that might more directly address problems in our society,” Hagler said. “During those discussions, I was told that there was an urgent need for matching monies to complete creation of endowed professorships that are only partially funded, and that such a gift would be of great help to the new College of Arts and Sciences. I simply met that request.”

Mutual Respect

Melbern Glasscock during his time in the Corps of Cadets
Melbern Glasscock during his time in the Corps of Cadets

Courtesy photo

The pair first met as students in the Corps of Cadets when Hagler was the Corps commander and Glasscock served on the Corps staff. A mutual friendship with Hagler’s roommate Dr. Ray M. Bowen ’58, president emeritus of Texas A&M, further bolstered their relationship. As a cadet underclassman, Glasscock looked up to Hagler, and his admiration continues today.

“I think the world of Jon Hagler,” he said. “He was probably the most mature young man that I met when I was at A&M. He had a solid idea of what he wanted to accomplish while in school, and he’s carried that aspiration through his life and career. I’m happy to be connected with Jon in terms of these gifts.”

The respect is mutual.

“I’ve known Mel Glasscock since 1957, when we both served the Corps staff,” Hagler said. “Much later, I met his wife Susanne. Both are incredibly wise and thoughtful philanthropists, and I’m delighted with the special relationship they have with the humanities at Texas A&M.”

While this is the first gift Hagler and Glasscock have funded for the new college, it is one of many in their long-standing Texas A&M giving history. The generosity of the Glasscocks and Jon Hagler has spanned decades, and each has received the coveted Sterling C. Evans Medal from the Texas A&M Foundation in recognition of that legacy.

Jon Hagler as a member of the Corps of Cadets
Jon Hagler as a member of the Corps of Cadets

Texas A&M Foundation

“We gave to the liberal arts because we have seen students’ minds open up,” Glasscock said. “The liberal arts are a major part of the College of Arts and Sciences, and we believe it’s important for people involved in scientific ventures to have a deep understanding of English, philosophy and history.”

Hagler supports Texas A&M and higher education for similar reasons.

“In my mind, a college education is about much more than preparation for a job,” he said. “A great college education not only prepares one for work but emphasizes critical thinking — to help individuals understand themselves and to help them meet the challenges they will face in life, including getting along with their fellow citizens and discharging their own citizenship responsibilities.”

A Foundation For Maximum Impact

Thanks to Hagler and the Glasscocks, the College of Arts and Sciences has a foundation upon which to grow and succeed. The college will impact the world by recruiting top-caliber faculty members to conduct meaningful research and teach the leaders of tomorrow.

“Today’s societal problems say to me that universities need to get better at helping individuals cope with a more complex world,” Hagler said. “Our democracy depends on it. We have put a man on the moon, but we can’t get along with each other. We need more attention to integrity and more tolerance and understanding between citizens. Education is the most leveraged way I know to bring these things about.”

Glasscock believes the Aggie spirit will forge the path for a brighter tomorrow.

“We believe that Texas A&M is a wonderful university,” Glasscock said. “It gave me a lot of opportunities and will do the same for others. We just need to keep pushing toward an even greater future.”

Media contact: Heather Rodriguez, hrodriguez@tamu.edu

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