Significant WT Philanthropists to Be Recognized at National Philanthropy Day

Chip Chandler Jul 27, 2020
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Significant WT Philanthropists to Be Recognized at National Philanthropy Day

Copy by Chip Chandler, 806-651-2124,


CANYON, Texas — A foundation with strong roots at West Texas A&M University and a group of WT student nurses dedicated to serving a vulnerable Amarillo population are among the winners at the 2020 National Philanthropy Day.

NPD winners were announced Wednesday by the Association of Fundraising Professionals — Texas Plains Chapter, including the Stan and Gerry Sigman Foundation as Outstanding Foundation and WT nursing students as Outstanding Youth in Philanthropy. A virtual event recognizing the winners will be broadcast in mid-November.

The Sigman Foundation’s win recognizes its commitment to WT’s Paul Engler College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences. Stan Sigman is a 1970 WT graduate who worked his way up from a job in Southwestern Bell Telephone’s Hereford warehouse to retiring as the president and chief executive officer of AT&T Mobility, the nation’s largest wireless provider. He was named one of WT’s Distinguished Alumni Award winners in 2007. The foundation made one of the first major donations to the recently completed Agricultural Sciences Complex, providing the stimulus to complete the nearly $50 million research and educational facility.

“The Stan and Gerry Sigman Grand Lobby … is a daily reminder of the impact the Sigman Foundation has on future agriculturalists, veterinarians, doctors, leaders and community members,” said Dr. Kevin Pond, dean of the Paul Engler College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences, in his nomination letter.

The foundation also made a substantial contribution to the Dr. Dean Hawkins Chair in Cow-Calf Management and the Spicer Gripp Memorial Roping event, which resulted in a $200,000 increase in scholarship endowments to the Department of Agricultural Sciences.

The foundation “exemplifies the spirit of philanthropy” by inspiring others to give, said WT President Dr. Walter Wendler.

WTNurseFairWT nursing students were recognized for planning, preparing and funding the Inner City Health Fair twice a year.

The fair, held since 2017 at the corner of Sixth and Tennessee streets in Amarillo’s San Jacinto neighborhood, provides health screenings and access to community agencies for the uninsured, underinsured and vulnerable population of north Amarillo. If the student nurses identify an urgent situation requiring medical attention, the student walks the patient to Heal the City for further care.

“As students preparing for the healing professions, they not only give back to the community by their services, but they learn valuable lessons about fundraising, coordinating and implementing community events,” Wendler said in his nomination letter.

“Their compassion and skill,” said Pastor Tommy Fulgham of Generation Next Worship Center, “are remarkable and leave a lasting effect and impact on the community.”

Recognizing those who give of their time, resources and talents is important to WT, said Lesly Bosch Annen, assistant vice president for leadership gifts and development.

“Especially in times of great uncertainty and fear, philanthropy shows us that there is still hope and humanity in our world,” Bosch Annen said. “By its very definition, philanthropy is the love for mankind. Highlighting those who choose to actively give of their time, treasure and talent to others inspires us all.”

For information on the NPD ceremony, contact AFP President Keith Brown at or 806-282-1210 or NPD Chair Haley Bell at or 806-681-2636. 


About West Texas A&M University

WT is located in Canyon, Texas, on a 342-acre residential campus. Established in 1910, the University has been part of The Texas A&M University System since 1990. With enrollment of more than 10,000, WT offers 60 undergraduate degree programs, 38 master’s degrees and two doctoral degrees. The University is also home to the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, the largest history museum in the state and the home of one of the Southwest’s finest art collections. The Buffaloes are a member of the NCAA Division II Lone Star Conference and offers 15 men’s and women’s athletics programs.