Annual $1 Million Gift Presented by Paul Engler; Part of Largest Donation in WT History

Chip Chandler Aug 10, 2021
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Annual $1 Million Gift Presented by Paul Engler; Part of Largest Donation in WT History

Copy by Chip Chandler, 806-651-2124,


CANYON, Texas — The latest round of checks totaling $1 million were presented Monday to the West Texas A&M University Foundation by Paul Engler as part of his $80 million gift to the University, currently the largest gift in WT history.

In 2017, Engler and the Paul F. and Virginia J. Engler Foundation agreed to donate $1 million a year for at least 80 years to both the University’s Paul Engler College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences and the Paul and Virginia Engler College of Business.

“We continue to be extraordinarily grateful to Paul Engler and the Engler Foundation for their transformative investment in the future of West Texas A&M,” said University President Dr. Walter Wendler. “This investment in the future of our entire region, as outlined in our long-term plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World, will continue to mold WT for the foreseeable future, just as Paul’s entrepreneurial spirit completely reshaped the cattle industry.”

The annual disbursements — $500,000 each to the Engler College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences and the Engler College of Business — will be used to attract additional donors to support faculty, students and creative research initiatives.

“Mr. Engler’s gift has not only supported important strategic initiatives in both Colleges, but has elevated WT to a whole new level of philanthropic support,” said Dr. Todd Rasberry, vice president for philanthropy and external relations. “Others see the impact and momentum that the Engler Foundation legacy gift has generated for the University, and people want to invest in something that is making a difference across the whole Panhandle region.”

In Monday’s presentation, the impact of the $80 million gift was lauded.

“On behalf of Paul, myself and the foundation, it is exciting to see the transformation taking place in both colleges,” said David Terry, CEO of the Engler Foundation.

Paul Engler is the perfect example of a self-made man who has found success in the cattle industry. The Nebraska native’s business skill started at an early age when he purchased his first herd of cattle at the age of 12. He used the proceeds from cattle sales to fund his college education, and he graduated in 1948 from the University of Nebraska with a degree in agriculture. By 1960, he was the founder/owner/operator of the Hereford Feedyard, establishing the Texas Panhandle as a force in the cattle industry. Under his leadership, Cactus Feeders became the largest cattle-feeding company in the world. A pioneer of the Texas cattle-feeding industry, Engler has received numerous honors and recognition throughout his career, which include induction into the Meat Industry Hall of Fame and the Cattle Feeders Hall of Fame.

The Paul F. And Virginia J. Engler Foundation is a family endeavor and reflects the love of family and the communities Paul and Virginia serve, including the Texas Panhandle. The late Virginia ‘Jinx’ Joan Kreycik Engler was a dedicated philanthropist throughout her life. She loved helping people and shared her kindness and generosity with everyone she met. That generosity and kindness provided the groundwork in helping the community through their foundation.  Commitment to higher education in the region is not new for the Engler Foundation, as generations of emerging business leaders at WT have benefitted from the long-established Virginia Engler Scholarship.


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, 40 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 14 men’s and women’s athletics programs.