WT Alum Andy Cole Endows New Animal Science Professorship

Chip Chandler Jan 31, 2024
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WT Alum Andy Cole Endows New Animal Science Professorship

Copy by Chip Chandler, 806-651-2124,


CANYON, Texas — To pay his way through college, Dr. Andy Cole used proceeds from crops grown on his own land on the family farm.

Generations later, West Texas A&M University is reaping the benefits.

Following a $125,000 gift from Cole, the Paul Engler College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences has established the new Cole Professorship in Animal Science.

The College is currently recruiting a new hire to fill the position.

Cole earned his degree in agriculture, specializing in animal science. He later earned a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in animal nutrition at Oklahoma State University before working 40 years at the U.S. Department of Agriculture Research Lab in Bushland as a nutritionist and, for four years before retiring, as the lab director.

He established the Cole Agriculture Scholarship in 2005, which has helped 40 students reach their educational goals. In addition, he has made a planned gift of nearly $300,000 through a charitable annuity, his will and his life insurance policy, which will convert the professorship into a distinguished professorship.

“The annuity works very nicely,” Cole said. “I get a fixed percentage of that each year as income for me, and when I pass on, the University gets the rest.

“It’s economically smart as well as charitable,” he continued. “It checked off a lot of good boxes, I guess you could say.”

In addition, Cole has contributed to multiple scholarship funds in the department, as well as funding the Dr. N. Andy Cole Collaboration Area on the third floor of the Happy State Bank Academic and Research Building in the Agricultural Sciences Complex.

“There is no better testimony of the value of an education than to have a graduate reach high success in their career followed by them making significant donations to their alma mater,” said Dr. Kevin Pond, dean.

Cole’s philanthropy to the University began early. He was one of the organizers of the Ag Development Association’s Ag Day, which has raised more than $1 million for the Department of Agricultural Sciences.

“We started by raising $3,000 and were tickled to death by that,” Cole said. “I like to think it’s been good for the department.”

Pond said Cole’s donations, including the new professorship, specifically target areas that helped him be a successful scientist so that others can follow his path to make additional positive contributions to society.

“I’m in a unique situation,” Cole said. “I have no kids of my own, and I’ve always thought it was good to give back. I’ve been very lucky. I’ve had an excellent career as a scientist—a career that I’ve really enjoyed and made good money from. I wanted to give back to the people and organizations that allowed that to happen, so WT and OSU came to mind.

“I just thought I needed to return the favor.”

Expanding WT’s efforts in animal science is in line with the University’s goal of meeting regional needs, as laid out in the long-term goal, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World.

That plan is fueled by the historic One West comprehensive fundraising campaign, which reached its initial $125 million goal 18 months after publicly launching in September 2021. The campaign’s new goal is to reach $175 million by 2025; currently, it has raised more than $150 million.

WT soon will boast nearly 90 endowed professorships, offering faculty additional funding for research, travel and more.

During the One West campaign, about 60 new professorships and chairs have been endowed throughout the University—an increase of more than 200 percent during the campaign.




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. WT, a Hispanic Serving Institution since 2016, boasts an enrollment of about 10,000 and offers 59 undergraduate degree programs and more than 40 graduate degrees, including 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.