Union Pacific Railroad Donates $30,000 to TAMIU
Posted: 2/9/12

Union Pacific Railroad Donates $30,000 to
TAMIU’s STEM Program, Lamar Bruni Vergara Planetarium

Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) students pursuing a career in science and engineering can count on the strong support of the Union Pacific Railroad.

The company presented a generous gift of $30,000 to TAMIU’s Union Pacific STEM Endowed Scholarship and the Lamar Bruni Vergara Planetarium Tuesday.

Union Pacific’s donation to the STEM Endowed Scholarship will be matched by the Department of Education’s Title III Hispanic-Serving Institution’s SYSTEM (Serving Youth in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) program.

Left to right are TAMIU’s Dr. Antonio Rodriguez, associate dean, A. R. Sanchez, Jr. School of Business; Dr. Tom Mitchell, dean, College of Arts and Science; Becky L. Garcia, director of development and donor relations; Dr. Ray Keck, president and Gerardo
Union Pacific Partners with TAMIU
Union Pacific presented a generous gift of $30,000 to TAMIU’s Union Pacific STEM Endowed Scholarship and the Lamar Bruni Vergara Planetarium as part of UP’s 150th Anniversary Celebration. Left to right are TAMIU’s Dr. Antonio Rodriguez, associate dean, A. R. Sanchez, Jr. School of Business; Dr. Tom Mitchell, dean, College of Arts and Science; Becky L. Garcia, director of development and donor relations; Dr. Ray Keck, president and Gerardo Perez, director of the Planetarium. Representing UP are Ivan Jaime, director of border policy and community affairs; Raquel Espinoza-Williams, corporate relations and media director; Lisa Knight, corporate relations manager; Ken Kuwamaura, senior recruitment manager; Charlie Gonzalez, senior manager terminal operations and Bob Polka, director, international customer service center.

 

Initially funded for five years, the project’s goal is to reach 6,500 local and area high school and community college students and increase the production of highly competent and well-qualified engineers and scientists.

TAMIU president Ray Keck said the University is grateful to receive UP’s generous gift.

“We would like to thank Union Pacific Railroad for its ongoing support of STEM programs at TAMIU,” Dr. Keck said, “In order for the United States to remain competitive in the world economy, a solid preparation in STEM areas becomes crucial. This gift from UP helps us address the critical shortage of scientists and engineers in our country by inspiring our students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.”

Dr. Daniel Mott, associate dean of TAMIU’s College of Arts and Sciences, Biology and Chemistry department chair and director of the SYSTEM program, said that the UP gift will allow the University to continue with the work started by the SYSTEM grant.

“This gift will allow us to continue with the good work and initiatives that began with the grant,” Dr. Mott said.    

Mott explained that the grant currently allows for the hiring of students for paid internships, undergraduate research, tutoring and to lead review sessions in general chemistry.

Ivan Jaime, UP director of public affairs and border policy, said that the company is proud to support TAMIU’s STEM programs.

“TAMIU is providing great opportunities to its students and it is our privilege to support the work that is laying the foundation for future leaders,” Jaime said.

Part of the donation, $5,000, will be used to fund Planetarium operations including purchasing new shows, equipment repair and maintenance, said Gerardo Pérez, Planetarium director.

“One of the biggest reasons we are able to keep our doors open and bring new shows is in big part due to the generosity of our corporate sponsors,” Pérez said, “Today, we thank UP once again for its kind donation and for helping to keep our one-of-a-kind teaching and learning facility thriving.”

UP is celebrating its 150th Anniversary this year. In 1994, it created an endowed scholarship for TAMIU’s then-College of Business, valued at approximately $180,000. Since 2007, UP has generously contributed more than $40,000 to the Planetarium.

For more information, please contact the Office of Public Relations, Marketing and Information Services at 326.2180, e-mail prmis@tamiu.edu or visit offices located in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library 268.

Information is also available online at tamiu.edu and on the University’s Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. A free University app for smartphones and iPad is available for download at www.tamiu.edu


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