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Bettye and Darryl Heath with their family | Image: Contributed by Darryl Heath

Darryl and Dr. Bettye Heath and their family have established the Bettye and H. Darryl Heath ’84 Dean’s Scholar Award. Distributions from their generous gift will be used to provide one or more scholarships to high school seniors entering their freshman year and pursuing an undergraduate degree in the Texas A&M University College of Engineering.

These students receiving the awards have excelled academically and have demonstrated outstanding leadership potential. The recipients of these Dean’s Scholar Awards will have exclusive opportunities to participate in annual meetings with the dean, lecture series, leadership development and a mentorship program with select former students and senior engineering students.

As a first-generation college student and the first Aggie in his family, Darryl saw Texas A&M as an opportunity to attend a school that had a great engineering program and given his strong interest in math and science, it was a natural fit for him. Although he had an offer to attend the Air Force Academy, Darryl thought Texas A&M was a better fit due to its culture, traditions and proximity to home. 

Darryl said it wasn’t until many years after graduating that he realized the profound impact the engineering curriculum had on his career. “I probably didn't really fully comprehend it until 10 years into my career that the things I had learned in my industrial engineering courses were being used in my everyday career with the client companies I served while at Accenture,” he said. 

Darryl said the impact from not only being a graduate of the College of Engineering, but being a part of the larger Aggie network in general, is indescribable. “From the support network who want Aggies on their team, in addition to the relationships I was able to form by being an Aggie, to the recognition of the degrees, being a part of the Aggie family is absolutely special,” he said. 

Darryl and Bettye have been financial supporters of Texas A&M for many years, but feel that the university thrives when its former students give back in other ways as well. “I love Texas A&M and I love being able to give back. But A&M also benefits from its former students when they give back in time and talent,” Darryl said. “The Texas A&M College of Engineering had a direct influence on my life and my career. So, when the dean approached me and asked if we were interested in establishing this scholarship to recruit top students, I believed in the idea right away.”

Darryl said the goal of this scholarship is to continue to support excellence in the quality and rankings of the College of Engineering while providing a path for recruiting the best and brightest students. “I think this scholarship promotes a cycle of Texas A&M building great engineers and sending great graduates and leaders out into the world,” he said.

Darryl and Bettye hope their scholarship will encourage freshman recipients to focus on their grades and find the specific track that is right for them. “The Freshman year is very important, especially in the College of Engineering. Motivating freshman engineers to keep their grades up and keep them excited about the program as they find their departmental path are some of the major goals of the scholarship,” he said. 

Darryl graduated from Texas A&M in 1985 with a degree in industrial engineering and currently sits on the College of Engineering’s advisory council. Darryl and Bettye have been married for over 34 years and have four adult sons, three of whom are also graduates of Texas A&M. Additionally, Bettye is in the final stages of completing her doctoral degree from Southern Methodist University. 

Giving With A Purpose

A Dean’s Scholar Award can be established as an endowment of $100,000 or by committing to a four-year contribution of $4,000 each year for a total of $16,000. If you are interested in supporting the Dean’s Scholar Award Program or would like more information on how you can give, please contact True Brown, director of development.