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College of Engineering's Advisory Council members posing for a photo with Texas A&M University President M. Katherine Banks.
Texas A&M President M. Katherine Banks with the College of Engineering's advisory council | Image: Texas A&M Engineering

The Texas A&M University Engineering Advisory Council (EAC) has established the Dr. M. Katherine Banks Endowed Chair in Engineering in honor of the former vice chancellor and dean of the College of Engineering and current president of Texas A&M. The EAC met on Nov. 5 and surprised Banks with the news of the established endowed chair in her honor.

An endowed chair is the highest academic award the college can bestow on a faculty member and distributions from this endowment will be used to support the teaching, research, service and professional development activities of the holder.

The council members wanted to honor Banks for all that she had done for the College of Engineering during her time as vice chancellor and dean and thought that the establishment of an endowed chair would allow for her legacy to be carried on for years to come.

“I speak for all of our members, both individually and collectively, when I say that Dr. Banks’ impact on the Texas A&M College of Engineering has truly been profound, and her accomplishments have changed its trajectory for decades to come,” said Darryl Heath, chairman of the EAC. “From the day she arrived at Texas A&M more than nine years ago, her passion and vision, her understanding of our Aggie core values, and her ability to drive excellence for our students and professors have been unparalleled.”

As dean, Banks led one of the largest engineering schools in the country, with 20,800 students and 700 faculty. She was also the director of the Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station, overseeing research administration, technology commercialization and technology workforce development.

She is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers. She leads The Texas A&M University System national laboratory engagement and serves as a board member and principal executive engaged with Triad National Security, LLC for the management and operation of Los Alamos National Laboratory. Banks is also the principal investigator for the recent $65 million cooperative agreement with the Army Research Laboratory.

“The idea of giving back is an important aspect of what it means to be an Aggie, it is fundamental to the values of Texas A&M and its former students. Over the years, the greatest leaders have focused on serving others and working toward a vision that is greater than self,” said EAC member Dennis Seith. “This idea of servant leadership is not new, but in Kathy Banks we have been blessed with a great servant leader who has led us to invest in the next generation of engineering students and has truly moved Texas A&M to be one of the top engineering and research schools in the country.”

Giving with a purpose

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