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Karen and Jack Whiteside posing for a photo in front of a window.
Former chemical engineering student Jack Whiteside '68 and his wife Karen. | Image: Courtesy of Jack Whiteside
Karen and Jack Whiteside have named the Texas A&M Foundation as a beneficiary of their living trust to establish a planned gift, which will create the Karen and Jack Whiteside '68 Chemical Engineering Professorship. Distributions from this endowment will be used to support the teaching, research, service and professional development activities of the holder in the Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering at Texas A&M University in accordance with university guidelines.
Jack grew up with Aggies in his family so his interest in Texas A&M began before he even started high school. As a child he was indoctrinated into the university by his three uncles who attended Texas A&M in the 1950s. “I can still remember attending the 1953 graduation ceremony in Kyle Field and seeing all the caps flying in the air,” Jack said. “I never seriously considered going anywhere else.”
Jack said his time at Texas A&M was fundamental to the success he found in his career. “I remember wanting to be an engineer as early as junior high,” he said. “Having the education and credentials from A&M opened the door for my career. The engineering curriculum equipped me with analytical thinking skills as well as the practical knowledge I needed to succeed as an engineer.”
Establishing this professorship has been an ongoing process over the last few years for the Whitesides. While updating their estate plans, Jack and Karen decided they wanted to give back to Texas A&M and show their gratitude for the education Jack had received. “We hope this professorship will help A&M attract top professors, which in turn will enable students to get the best education and open doors to a great career,” Jack said.
The Whitesides decided on establishing a professorship because they understand how impactful professors can be on a student’s education. “My life was highly impacted by the professors I had during my time at Texas A&M and I hope this professorship will help provide future students a strong base on which to build their life’s work,” Jack said. “I am proud of my Aggie heritage and wish the best for the College of Engineering as it strives to become the best in the nation in every aspect.”
The Whitesides also support several Christian organizations and although donating to education is a slight departure from their norm, they wanted to give this token of gratitude to Texas A&M.
Jack graduated from Texas A&M in 1968 with his degree in chemical engineering. He and Karen have two sons, Jason and Jonathan ’97.

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 Jay Roberts, assistant vice president for development.