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Mark DeHart '84
The DeHarts have established the Leigh ’89 and Mark DeHart ’84 Nuclear Engineering Endowed Scholarship to support nuclear engineering students. | Image: Courtesy of Mark DeHart

As Mark DeHart unpacked boxes of his belongings into his apartment freshman year, he was excited to finally attend his dream engineering school at Texas A&M University. He didn’t know that by the time he would be packing up for summer break, he would love more than just his classes and education and would be fully immersed in the campus culture — as Aggies say, he’d “bleed maroon.” Now an accomplished professional, DeHart’s passion for nuclear engineering and his alma mater has inspired him and his wife, Leigh DeHart ’89, to establish the Leigh ’89 and Mark DeHart ’84 Nuclear Engineering Endowed Scholarship.

Despite having no prior connection to Texas A&M, DeHart joined the Aggie family because of its excellent academic reputation. Little did he know that his decision to attend Texas A&M would profoundly impact his life, personally and professionally.

“I got multiple nuclear engineering degrees, but as a bonus, I got to be an Aggie,” DeHart said. “I was blessed by my time at Texas A&M, and it formed me into the person I am today.”

Leigh transferred to Texas A&M in August 1985, and a year later, she and DeHart got married in Southlake, Texas, before returning to Aggieland to finish coursework.

“Leigh invested a lot of time into her Ph.T. — ‘putting hubby through,’” DeHart said. “I credit her as my partner and biggest supporter in completing my studies.”

During his time in Aggieland, DeHart’s dedication to his studies in nuclear engineering grew. He obtained his bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in the Department of Nuclear Engineering, and his love for the Aggie spirit deepened. Surrounded by his loving wife, close friends, supportive professors and encouraging mentors, DeHart transformed largely into the person he is today.

Years later, DeHart returned to Aggieland to attend a nuclear engineering banquet. At the event, he had the opportunity to meet Mitty Plummer ’65 and was inspired by the impact that Plummer’s scholarships had on the students in the department. Deep in his career as a senior reactor physicist at Idaho National Laboratory, DeHart is aware that the future of nuclear research relies on young, excellent nuclear engineers. The DeHarts established the Leigh ’89 and Mark DeHart ’84 Nuclear Engineering Endowed Scholarship to encourage senior nuclear engineering students to pursue a graduate degree.

“The country is currently in need of qualified nuclear engineers, and I believe that an advanced degree in nuclear engineering is important,” DeHart said. “I hope that, in some way, this scholarship will inspire seniors to continue their education, and I hope they choose to stay at Texas A&M University.”

The DeHarts’ aim is to recognize seniors studying nuclear engineering and reward their hard work. In addition, they hope to encourage excellence and the pursuit of additional education for future nuclear engineers. The DeHarts’ ultimate goal is to foster a passion for the industry and the development of individuals who will be the future leaders driving advancements in nuclear research.

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.