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Alan Padfield and his son, Russell Padfield, looking out at Steamboat Mountain, Grand Canyon North Rim.
Alan Padfield ’85, inspired by his son’s study abroad experience, has established a scholarship to support industrial and systems engineering students taking their education global. | Image: Courtesy of Alan Padfield

From the first “Howdy” at a New Student Conference to saying “Here” at Muster, Aggies are deeply rooted in tradition. Alan Padfield ’85, a first-generation Aggie, was drawn to Texas A&M University because of its core values and traditions. Throughout his years of involvement with the university, the Aggie Spirit has never faded. Now, he has created the Alan B. Padfield ’85 ISEN Endowed Scholarship in the Wm Michael Barnes ’64 Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering to support the transformative process for Aggie engineers who hope to experience new cultures through their studies.

“My industrial and systems engineering education at Texas A&M taught me the essential life skill of taking a problem-solving approach,” Padfield said. “This skill has served me well personally and professionally throughout my life.”

During Padfield’s time at Texas A&M, he felt the impact of an Aggie education that led to his transformation of character and mind. Padfield graduated in 1986 with his degree in industrial engineering and then went on to study law after working for three years as a facility planning engineer at General Dynamics. He came to Texas A&M as an individual and left as an Aggie who understood the value of investing in something bigger than himself.

My time at Texas A&M challenged me to see the greatness in being part of something much larger than oneself or individual goals.

Alan Padfield ’85

Padfield’s son, Russell Padfield ’19, followed in his father’s footsteps as an Aggie. Russell studied agricultural economics with a certificate in international trade and agriculture and stayed to obtain a master’s in finance at the Mays Business School. As a part of his educational experience, Russell participated in a study abroad, immersed in a new culture that motivated him to be open to new perspectives in his everyday life.  

After witnessing his son’s success with the study abroad experience, Padfield was inspired to establish the Alan B. Padfield ’85 ISEN Endowed Scholarship to enable many others to experience the impact of learning in another country without financial strain. International opportunities allow students to observe the differences in other cultures compared to their own, which helps them see various perspectives.

The College of Engineering hosts a variety of different study abroad programs through each department with various durations, making it easier for students to fit a global experience into their time studying engineering at Texas A&M.

Dr. Sergiy Butenko, an industrial and systems engineering professor, recently led a study abroad program in Greece for students studying economic analysis of engineering projects.

“Studying abroad provides engineering students with a unique and valuable educational experience that can enhance their engineering knowledge, personal growth and career prospects,” Butenko said.

Throughout the program, students observed the differences between the economic decisions in the United States and Greece. While studying abroad, students are immersed in educational and cultural experiences such as food tours and Greek dancing lessons.

“Participating in a study abroad can indeed be a life-changing experience that can foster personal growth, independence and self-confidence, which can be valuable in both personal and professional settings,” Butenko said.

Padfield’s gift will allow more industrial and systems engineering students to experience opportunities like this. His example of generosity and kindness, inspired by the Aggie spirit, will enable many young engineers to pursue their academic aspirations and achieve excellence through seeking out diverse international experiences.

How To Give

Endowments supporting 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.