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Bill and Barbara Shepherd.
Barbara Shepherd made a contribution to the Mechanical Engineering Industry Advisory Council Professor of Practice Fund in memory of her late husband, Bill Shepherd ’61. | Image: Courtesy of Barbara Shepherd

Born and raised in Texas, Bill Shepherd '61 lived a fulfilling life with many life-changing experiences as a former student of Texas A&M University. His wife, Barbara, honored his life by contributing significantly to the Mechanical Engineering Industry Advisory Council Professor of Practice Fund.

Although not an Aggie herself, Barbara appreciates the culture the university provides for its students and recognizes the influence faculty can have in transforming students' futures.

"Living only an hour away from College Station enabled me to get to know and appreciate the Aggie spirit, culture and the quality of education offered there," Barbara said. "I want engineering students at Texas A&M to know there are many potential avenues to success with their engineering degree."

Following his graduation from the J. Mike Walker ’66 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Bill served in the United States Army and was stationed in Germany. When he returned to the United States, he worked at the Johnson Space Center, where he was a member of a team that developed equipment used in the Apollo moon mission.

In the 1990s, Bill founded WLS Drilling Products, designing and manufacturing his own line of rotary drill bits in partnership with JSC Volgaburmash in Samara, Russia. After his early retirement, he established several small companies in the United States and South America.

With the generosity of Barbara's contribution to the Mechanical Engineering Industry Advisory Council Professor of Practice Fund, she hopes to enhance the program that opened many doors of opportunity for her husband in his unique and diverse career. 

Professors of practice with real-world experience have the ability and resources to expose students to the variety of jobs they can acquire and the personal characteristics that lead them to success.

Barbara Shepherd

The Mechanical Engineering Industry Advisory Council Professor of Practice Fund supports professional engineers and industry leaders that bring rich experiences and add to the education of students pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering. Barbara's generous contribution will support the growth of the mechanical engineering program by bringing in more experienced engineers from the industry.

Bill's successful career has impacted the lives of many all around the world, and through Barbara’s gift, his impact will continue to change the lives and futures of many Aggie engineers.

How To Give

Contributions to excellence funds allow our department to have a direct and immediate impact on the program and student experience. Excellence fund earnings are directed at the discretion of the department head to projects such as equipment acquisition, facility improvements, awards for teaching and research, student-driven professional development activities and more. If you are interested in supporting the department’s goal or would like more information on how you can give, please contact one of our development officers.