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Gretchen and Alan Hilyard with Dr. Reza Langari, and six scholarship recipients at the fall scholarship banquet.
Gretchen ’90 and Alan ’90 Hilyard recently established a scholarship to provide support for students participating in the Talent Incubator Program and honored the recipients at the Department of Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution 2022 scholarship banquet. | Image: Courtesy of Texas A&M Department of Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution

For the Hilyard family, the Department of Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution at Texas A&M University has changed their lives for the better. After the positive experience Greg Hilyard ’22 had in the Talent Incubator Program (TIP), an internship program that pairs students with industry leaders to conduct real-life research, the Hilyard family created a new avenue of financial assistance for students involved in the program.

Being able to attend a university close to home was one of the many aspects that drew both Gretchen ’90 and Alan ’90 Hilyard to Texas A&M. More importantly, the campus culture, rooted in tradition and friendliness, solidified their decision to attend the university. 

“Texas A&M has a fantastic atmosphere where you can get a world-class quality education,” Gretchen said.

While Gretchen worked toward her degree in recreation, parks and tourism sciences, Alan pursued his degree in industrial distribution in the College of Engineering. He was no stranger to hard work, as his mornings often began at 3 a.m. so that he could work at the United Parcel Service from 3:30 to 8 a.m. before attending his classes for the day.

After graduation, Alan used the skills and knowledge from his industrial distribution classes on a daily basis as he began his career. As his industry experience grew, he founded his own business, SWPC Fluid Solutions, a valve and fitting distributor. The Hilyards found Alan’s degree so beneficial that when their son, Greg, applied for college, he easily chose to study industrial distribution.

“We're very excited that we have two industrial distribution majors in the family,” Gretchen said. “We think that industrial distribution is an amazing, versatile degree because it is an engineering and business hybrid degree that prepares students for a variety of careers.” 

During Greg’s senior year, he applied and was accepted into TIP. TIP is sponsored by industry leaders who partner with students in a faculty-advised setting to conduct research and create product deliverables for company executives. The program helps students gain critical skills in business development, market intelligence, innovation, customer experience, digital strategies, and supply chain operations and management. 

Because of Greg’s great success in the program, the Hilyard family was inspired to create the Garver Black Hilyard Family Talent Incubator Scholarship to allow even more students the opportunity to participate.

We are thrilled to provide an opportunity for more students to be a part of the Talent Incubator Program. It provides real-life skills to help students be prepared to enter the workforce.

Gretchen Hilyard
The Hilyards are not only passionate about supporting students through TIP but strongly want to give back to the university that propelled them into the world. They believe that Texas A&M fosters an excellent academic environment and shapes students to become life-long learners, and more importantly, molds students into good members of their community.

 “The students that come out of Texas A&M are quality members of the community and society, and we think that there's no better place on Earth to go to school,” Gretchen said. 

The Hilyards hope their gift provides students with financial relief so they can better enjoy their time here in Aggieland.

“Scholarships change lives,” Gretchen said. “They allow recipients to follow their dreams, get the degree they are seeking and turn around and give back to the university to help other generations follow their dreams.” 

How To Give

Endowments supporting the students in the college have an immeasurable impact on their education. If you are interested in supporting the College of Engineering and its departments or would like more information on how you can give, please contact one of our development officers.