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Dr. Mitty C. Plummer '65 | Image: Contributed by Mitty C. Plummer

A conversation with Dr. Mitty C. Plummer ’65 on the establishment of the Dr. Mitty C. Plummer ’65 Scholarship in nuclear engineering at Texas A&M University.

Q. What drew you to attend Texas A&M?

A. I had a friend in high school named Wayne Smith whose father (James Richard Smith ’49) had attended Texas A&M. That family encouraged me to apply, to take the entrance exam and to apply for financial assistance. The Odessa A&M Club awarded me the Opportunity Awards Scholarship and it was just enough money to make me think I could get through college.

Q. How has Texas A&M impacted your career?

A. Without Texas A&M’s influence, I truly doubt that I would have had what you might think of as a career. After receiving my bachelor’s in electrical engineering, I stayed on at Texas A&M with an Atomic Energy Commission Fellowship to earn a Ph.D. in nuclear engineering in 1970. My first jobs were in the nuclear field, but it became clear to me that the nation was not committing to nuclear power. I was able to use the broad engineering and math background that A&M had provided me to go into self-employment doing mechanical testing of various types. At age 50, I thought it was time to begin passing forward some of the knowledge I had accrued to a new generation of engineers by becoming a professor of engineering technology and helping to establish a new college of engineering at the University of North Texas.

Q. What inspired you to establish the Dr. Mitty C. Plummer ’65 Scholarship?

A. I began giving scholarship money to students in the newly established undergraduate program in nuclear engineering shortly after leaving Texas A&M. As a new program, it had no established scholarships or awards. I also have historically given to another scholarship fund called the Sweat Equity Scholarship, which benefits students who work really hard to get through Texas A&M.

Without the Opportunity Award Scholarship that I was given, I am certain that I would not have attended Texas A&M and life would have been much more difficult for me. My goal is to make it easier from a financial perspective for a student to attend Texas A&M. The gift of oil royalties will enable that string of gifts to continue long after I am gone. I hope my gifts have the same beneficial effect on the lives of Aggies as the gifts of my predecessors had on me.

Q. What kind of impact do you hope your gift will have?

A. I hope that the recipients will feel encouraged and be enabled to complete their education. After graduation, I hope they pay it forward to another generation of Aggies. I hope that the example of generosity, first shown to me by the Odessa A&M Club in 1961, is contagious, compelling and continuous.

Q. What is special to you about Texas A&M?

A. Texas A&M offers degrees that change lives by enabling the person who obtains a Texas A&M degree to contribute to others and to society on a much larger scale. When you survey Texas in particular, you see it is Texas Aggies who historically found oil and gas deposits, improved care of the big cattle herds and crops, built the nuclear power plants, laid out the roads, and drove many other important industries in Texas. That’s why I chose Texas A&M as a place to give my money to. I didn’t want a lack of money to make it impossible for someone to attend or to complete a degree. 

How to give

The College of Engineering is one of the leading engineering programs in the United States, ranking first in undergraduate enrollment and ninth in graduate enrollment. Endowments supporting the students in the college have an immeasurable impact on their education. If you are interested in supporting the College of Engineering and its departments or would like more information on how you can give, please contact Reagan Chessher, senior director of development.