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From the Director

Brilliant scholars are the foundation on which great universities thrive. The Hagler Institute is the cornerstone of that foundation at Texas A&M University.

TIAS Director John Junkins

The academic year 2016–17 was momentous for the Institute for Advanced Study. When the Institute was founded, Chancellor John Sharp of The Texas A&M University System provided $5.2 million to help fund a five-year start-up period; the Chancellor’s support was supplemented by former Texas A&M University President R. Bowen Loftin and current President Michael K. Young. This year marks the completion of that start-up phase, and the concept is now proven. Top-level scholars from all over the world come to Texas A&M for up to twelve months to work with our faculty and students, collaborate on research at the frontiers of knowledge, and generate ideas and inspiration. When one of those Faculty Fellows chooses to come to Texas A&M, most scholars in their field take notice, expanding Texas A&M’s reputation as a destination for the finest in the world. During these first five years, the Institute has brought forty-five world-class scholars to Texas A&M. Those scholars include two Nobel Prize laureates and recipients of many other national and international awards representing the highest honors in a variety of fields, from engineering to economics, medicine to mathematics, agriculture to astronomy, literature to law. I invite you to reflect on the accomplishments of those scholars, as well as their impact on Texas A&M. Their individual and collective achievements will stun you.

Institutes and academic initiatives come and go with the times, and my goal from the outset has been to secure this Institute as a permanent part of Texas A&M. Toward that goal we have attracted several estate gifts and chair endowments. In 2016, the development effort took a major stride forward. The Institute was unquestionably secured forever as a part of the University with a $20 million commitment from one of Texas A&M’s most generous, accomplished, and admired supporters—Jon L. Hagler.

Jon Hagler is the Aggie’s Aggie. As an undergraduate, he was corps commander and a Ross Volunteer before serving on active military duty as an officer in the US Army for three years. He earned an MBA at Harvard and later launched a career that led to remarkable success and accomplishment in the highly competitive financial investment community. He has been a longtime supporter of Texas A&M as a philanthropist and as a strategic planner on A&M’s behalf, recently earning an honorary doctorate for his gallant contributions to higher education. He serves on this Institute’s External Advisory Board. Jon Hagler’s life sets a standard of excellence, generosity, and principled leadership that is admirable and exemplary by any standard.

I am honored to announce that hereafter this Institute will be the Hagler Institute for Advanced Study at Texas A&M University. Jon Hagler’s endowment, and the commitments from President Young that accompany it, will secure this Institute’s future operation at the current level in perpetuity. Each year, a new class of at least ten of the finest external scholars in the world will be in residence, taking on a multitude of issues and challenges with our faculty and students—providing students with life-changing inspiration.

Our goal for the future is to raise endowments for college chairs for the Institute’s Faculty Fellows. Doing so will diversify the nomination pool and serve as the primary growth engine by which we will double the size of the Institute and accelerate the goals articulated in Vision 2020.

Thanks to Jon Hagler, the future is now bright for the Hagler Institute for Advanced Study, and Texas A&M continues its march toward world academic leadership.