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The Friar family taking a photo in front of the Aggie Ring at the Association of Former Students.
Dana A. '21 and Kevin B. Friar '88 and their family at Dana’s Aggie ring day. | Image: Courtesy of Kevin Friar
Dana A. '21 and Kevin B. Friar '88 have established the Dr. F. Barry Lawrence Professor of Practice Endowment in Industrial Distribution at Texas A&M University. A professor of practice is an individual of exceptional merit who has had an illustrious career at the local, state, national or international level. The holder will serve on the faculty of the College of Engineering and will provide students with a practitioner’s perspective, insight and first-hand experiences. Distributions from this endowment will be used by the Department of Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution to support the teaching, research, service and professional development activities of the holder in accordance with university guidelines.
Kevin is a first-generation Aggie and fell in love with Texas A&M because of its values, culture and traditions. “What Texas A&M stands for fit me better than any other school,” he said. “It became evident that I was an Aggie already and just didn't know it, so I made the decision that this was where I belonged.”
As for Dana, she also believes she was always an Aggie and just had to make it official. “One of my goals in attending A&M was to get the Aggie ring like my husband and son, and formally become an Aggie,” she said. “Having an Aggie ring stands for honor, tradition and values.”
After graduation, Kevin went to work for a large company that served the oil and gas market and he feels that what he learned from Texas A&M set him up for a career of achievement. “I started at the bottom in sales and worked my way up from there,” he said. “The values of A&M helped to set me up in my career and the tangibles that I learned — hard work, perseverance and integrity — make a world of difference.”
Additionally, Kevin was able to travel the world during this career and said that being an Aggie benefited him enormously. “The reputation of being an Aggie helps to build trust and relationships with everyone you meet,” he said. “It isn't just the academics that are well respected, but the type of people that go to Texas A&M, the culture and values are even more respected.”
Dana is about to graduate from Texas A&M, and she said her education has helped to shape her views moving forward. “It goes back to the Aggie code of honor, the culture and the way people act,” she said. “There is a sense of pride in knowing that what you're doing is right and you're going to stand by it and stand by the university.”
When the time came for Kevin and Dana to begin planning for their estate, they knew they wanted to give back to areas within Texas A&M that are important to them. Thus, the Dr. F. Barry Lawrence Professor of Practice Endowment in Industrial Distribution was created.
Kevin was inspired to create this endowment by its namesake, Dr. F. Barry Lawrence. Kevin met Lawrence while he was lecturing at Texas A&M, and given his industry expertise, Kevin was later hired to co-teach alongside Lawrence. “I was so impressed by Dr. Lawrence and the way the industrial distribution program is engaged with industry partners and how they built that into the classroom,” he said.
Because Kevin’s undergraduate degree was in biology, he had to learn on the job when he joined the industrial distribution industry as opposed to learning in a classroom. “The things they are teaching in this program are preparing the students so well,” he said. “Because I didn't have that education, I want to give back to these students that are getting it.”
Kevin also said that the staff and faculty in the industrial distribution program, especially Lawrence, treated him like a member of the team and taught him so much. “I see the heart Dr. Lawrence has put into the program,” he said. “If it weren’t for him, this program would not be what it is today.”
Kevin and Dana feel that education is the most valuable thing for a young adult and want to give students the best experience in this program and honor Lawrence at the same time. “When we were looking at what to give to the university, I wanted to make sure that in years to come when Dr. Lawrence isn't around, that his name is not forgotten inside the program because of all he has done,” Kevin said.
In addition to the professor of practice endowment, Kevin and Dana also established the Dana '21 and Kevin Friar '88 Endowed DVM Scholarship, Small Animal Hospital Endowment, Stevenson Companion Animal Life Care Center Endowment, Compassionate Care Endowment Fund and contributed to the 1922 Fund Athletic Scholarship Endowment.
Kevin graduated from Texas A&M in 1988 with a bachelor's degree in biology. After his retirement in 2016, he was given the opportunity to teach at Texas A&M part time in the industrial distribution program. Now, as the current CEO of Hoover Circular Solutions, Kevin commutes to Houston while he and Dana live full time in College Station. Dana will graduate from Texas A&M in May with her master’s degree in educational human resource development.

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. Faculty endowments encourage and reward faculty members who embody the passion for, and commitment to the education of engineering students. They bring years of rich experiences from the field and add tremendous value to the College of Engineering. If you are interested in supporting faculty or would like more information on how you can give, please contact Hannah Walker, assistant director of development.