Skip To Main Content
Fred and Cindy Balda on a beach.
The Baldas have established an endowment for students participating in the Peer Mentor Program. | Image: Courtesy of Cindy and Fred Balda

Fred Balda ’82 was drawn like a magnet to pursue his dream of becoming an Aggie engineer. For Cindy Balda ’82, she was captivated by more than just the high-quality academics; the friendly embrace of the campus brought her to find a home in Aggieland.

For the Baldas, the years spent on campus at Texas A&M University not only gave them cherished memories but equipped them with valuable skills to guide them outside Aggieland. Firmly believing that being a part of the Aggie network and receiving an outstanding education changed the trajectory of their lives, the Baldas established the Cindy ’82 and Fred Balda ’82 Endowed Peer Mentor Scholarship in the College of Engineering to support first-generation Aggie engineering students.

My wife and I wanted to establish this endowment to give others who may not have had the chance otherwise the opportunity we had to attend Texas A&M.

Fred Balda

During his time studying civil engineering, Fred had the opportunity to participate in a co-op program. This not only armed him with valuable career skills but prepared him to take a job with the H.B. Zachry Company after graduating. With so much to learn, Fred’s first job served as a stepping stone that put him on the path to later becoming the president of Hillwood Communities, a Perot company, which is a leading Texas-based master-planned community developer.

Meanwhile, Cindy graduated with a degree in marketing and began her journey in commercial real estate, working for Rosewood. She left the corporate world wholeheartedly to take on raising their three energetic boys: Brad, Blake and Brett ’18.

“We are hopeful that by setting up a scholarship for first-generation students, we can offer them the opportunity to change their lives,” Fred said. “Education changes a person’s perspective and helps them develop critical thinking skills. It develops self-esteem and provides a sense of accomplishment.”

The Baldas have established multiple endowments in the College of Engineering, and this endowment focuses specifically on students participating in the Peer Mentor Program. The Baldas aspire to support first-generation students so they may partake in life-changing educational experiences at Texas A&M and be empowered to create an everlasting impact on their families and society.

“I truly believe that an education can change the course of a person's life, as well as the lives of future generations,” Cindy said.

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.