Posted: 5/05/21

Killam $1M Gift Funds New TAMIU Endowed Professorship in Petroleum Engineering


Pablo Arenaz, president
Dr. Pablo Arenaz, TAMIU president  

A major gift ushering in a new endowed Professorship in TAMIU’s Petroleum Engineering program was announced Wednesday at Texas A&M International University (TAMIU). 

The generous gift of $1 million dollars was made by the Killam Family Foundation.  Family members serving on the Killam Family Foundation include Tracy DiLeo, Kati Killam, and David Killam – Sue and Radcliffe Killam’s two daughters and son.

TAMIU president Dr. Pablo Arenaz noted that the gift helps support the Petroleum Engineering program. The Killam family has always figured prominently in the University’s development and growth.

“The Killam family has been absolutely crucial in the creation, development and continued growth of TAMIU.  The vision for this program started with the Killam family’s leadership and commitment to encouraging future generations of oil and gas industry professionals, which was pivotal to its creation in April 2020,” Dr. Arenaz said.

The Killam family said the gift is an investment in change.

“With this contribution our family hopes to inspire others to invest in TAMIU, because when we invest in higher education, we empower individuals to transform their lives and we enable the change that people desire to advance their lives, families, and entire communities,” Cliffe Killam said.

The generous gift of $1 million was provided by the Killam family in honor of Sue and Radcliffe Killam.  Sue Killam loved Laredo and, once marrying Radcliffe, lived in Laredo for over 70 years.  Sue and Radcliffe were big believers in the power of education, which led to their involvement as Board Members of the University System of South Texas from 1979 to 1986.  Laredo State University was part of that, becoming TAMIU in 1993.  Sue also served on the Texas A&M University Chancellor’s 21st Century Council of Advisors. 

Sue also served in many other leadership positions within The University of Texas System.  After the death of her daughter, Terry Killam, from breast cancer, Sue and Radcliffe established an endowed Chair at MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston to focus on genetics and oncology.  

Killam Oil, started by Oliver Winfield Killam in Laredo in 1919, is a private, family-owned business that has earned a stellar reputation in South Texas and throughout the industry. While Killam Oil  maintains a keen focus on oil and gas exploration, it holds diverse interests in real estate development, investments, and ranching.  The Company celebrated its centennial in 2020.

For additional information, contact Rosanne Palacios, TAMIU vice president for Institutional Advancement at 956.326.2178, email: rosanne.palacios@tamiu.edu or visit offices in the Sue and Radcliffe Killam Library, room 262.

The Killam Family
On hand to celebrate the new TAMIU Endowed Professorship in Petroleum Engineering are, left to right, Dr. Tom Mitchell, provost and vice president for Academic Affairs;  Dr. Claudia San Miguel, dean, College of Arts and Sciences; David W. Killam, Jr., Tracy K. DiLeo, David W. Killam, Kati Killam, Cliffe Killam  and Dr. Pablo Arenaz, president, TAMIU.