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Trisha and Doug Sheffield posing for a photo.
Trisha ’91 and Doug ’92 Sheffield have established a biomedical engineering scholarship in the department from which their son graduated. | Image: Courtesy of Mason Sheffield.

Many former students give back to the departments from which they received their degrees. However, for Trisha and Doug Sheffield, encountering Texas A&M University as parents is what inspired them to establish the Trisha ’91 and Doug ’92 Sheffield Endowed Scholarship in Biomedical Engineering. 

The couple found their way to Texas A&M for different reasons while they pursued separate passions. Trisha was not considering coming to Aggieland until she made a campus visit. Then she decided it was the only school she would apply to. Meanwhile, Doug attended Texas A&M for graduate school. While Trisha obtained a bachelor’s degree in marketing, Doug received his master’s degree in industrial engineering. 

It was their shared experience as parents of Aggie students, however, that left a lasting impact on the Sheffields.

“Doug and I both have fond memories of our time at Texas A&M, but seeing and experiencing it as parents deepened our love of the university so much more,” Trisha said. “The experiences, opportunities and even challenges developed both of our kids in meaningful ways.”

Both of the Sheffields’ children attended and graduated from Texas A&M. Lauren Sheffield ’19 studied communication, and Mason Sheffield ’20 studied biomedical engineering. When Mason’s senior design professor, James “Jim” Machek, passed away suddenly, he asked Trisha and Doug to consider donating to the design space created in Machek’s honor.

“Having seen firsthand the deep and positive impact of Mason’s senior design project in biomedical engineering, we decided to make a memorial gift, but also wanted to learn more about the design space,” Trisha said.

Committed to learning more about the initiatives of the biomedical engineering program, Trisha and Doug set up a meeting with department head Dr. Mike McShane to tour the design space. Confident in and inspired by the vision and leadership for biomedical engineering at Texas A&M, they decided to establish an endowed scholarship for students in the department.

Distributions from their endowment will be used to provide one or more scholarships to students pursuing an undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering at Texas A&M. The scholarship will be given to students of sophomore classification or higher who have demonstrated financial need and graduated from a public high school in Texas.

“The expense of a college education can create financial stress for many families,” Trisha said. “We simply hope that it lifts a small portion of that burden and helps encourage students as they pursue their academic dreams.” 

Furthering and enabling the achievements of other Aggies is important to Trisha and Doug, as they have been impacted so greatly by Texas A&M themselves. 

“It's a great privilege to play even a small role in student success,” Trisha said. “We are so proud to be part of the Aggie network and that our kids also are Aggies, so it was a natural fit for giving back.”

“Support from friends and former students of the department is critical to our success and is deeply appreciated, said McShane. “We are particularly grateful to Doug and Trisha Sheffield for their support of our students in multiple ways and are excited to mark their endowed scholarship as the first contribution in this campaign for 50 biomedical engineering scholarships.”

How to Give

Scholarship endowments reward high-performing students with recognition of their individual accomplishments and provide valuable financial support that allows them to focus on their studies. As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the program, we will simultaneously launch a campaign to establish 50 new scholarships for biomedical engineering students. This will scale our scholarships more appropriately to the size of the student body and allow us to recognize more of our outstanding students with scholarships.

If you are interested in supporting the departments or would like more information on how you can give, please contact Ryan Nichols, assistant director of development.