Comfort couple promotes civil engineering excellence at Texas A&M

L.S. “Pat” Brown ’54 of Comfort, Texas, has fond memories of his days as a civil engineering undergraduate at Texas A&M University. 

He remembers the campus excitement when G. Rollie White Coliseum was completed and community uproar when a coffee doubled in price from a nickel to a dime for a cup.

In recent years the retired chairman of Brown & Gay Engineers Inc. and his wife, Wanda, have focused on advancing the university’s civil engineering program through gifts made through the Texas A&M Foundation. The Browns have recently contributed $100,000 to the Zachry Department of Civil Engineering Endowed Excellence Fund, and have previously donated $100,000 to endow the Wanda and Pat Brown ’54 Scholarship in Civil Engineering.

The Browns’ gift to the excellence fund provides resources that can be used where opportunities are greatest, helping the department to maintain the highest quality of facilities, programs and services for its students and faculty. The scholarship is presented annually to one recipient, with a preference for junior-or senior-level members of the Corps of Cadets who demonstrates financial need and are enrolled in 15 or more hours per semester. 

“The Zachry Department of Civil Engineering is one of the best programs in the nation because of the passion and support from Aggies such as the Browns,” said Dr. John M. Niedzwecki, civil engineering department head and R.P. Gregory ’32 Chair. 

Brown graduated from Texas A&M in 1954 with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and earned a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Houston. He served 23 years in the U.S. Army and the active reserves, retiring as a lieutenant colonel.

A professional engineer in the state of Texas, he co-founded Brown and Gay Engineers Inc in 1975 and helped develop the company into one of the Engineering News-Record Top 500 Design Firms. Brown & Gay Engineering is ranked in the country as one of the Top 10 civil and structural engineering firms by the Houston Business Journal and as one of the largest design firms in Texas by Texas Construction magazine.

He was closely involved with the financial management of the firm and directed investments of its multimillion-dollar profit sharing and 401K plans until his retirement in 1995.  Since that time, Brown has focused on mutual fund investing.

“Pat and Wanda are true ambassadors for Texas A&M University," said Jay Roberts, director of development for engineering with the Texas A&M Foundation. "Their generous gifts will make an impact for many years to come.”

The Texas A&M Foundation is a nonprofit organization that receives major gifts and manages endowments for the sole benefit of Texas A&M University.