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Kenneth and Denise Meyer holding a photo of themselves from 1975.
With support from their families, the Meyers never stopped pursuing higher education, and continue to give back to first-generation students. | Image: Courtesy of Denise and Kenneth Meyer

With the sun beaming down on Aggieland in the fall of 1969, Kenneth Meyer and his father, Robert, watched the Aggie Band march in perfect unison. With each step towards Kyle Field, he could sense the powerful pulse of pride each cadet had for being an Aggie. Since that moment, Kenneth wanted to be a cadet in the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band.

Denise ’76 and Kenneth Meyer ’75 dreamed of being the first in their families to graduate from college. Their parents stood by them every step of the way, providing unwavering support in their pursuit of this significant achievement. Now, to honor their parents, Denise and Kenneth established the Imogene and Carl Lindley and Fay and Robert Meyer CVEN Excellence Endowment to support first-generation students in the Zachry Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Denise’s path to becoming an Aggie started on a blind date when she was introduced to her future husband and university. In the fall of 1972, Kenneth showed Denise the Aggie Spirit on their first date — watching the Aggie football team beat SMU. At the time, Denise was a student at North Texas State University, now the University of North Texas. After spending all weekend with Kenneth learning about Texas A&M University and the Aggie traditions, Denise decided to transfer.

Kenneth and Denise walked under the Century Tree and married in May 1975. After graduating with his civil engineering degree, Kenneth fulfilled a childhood dream of becoming a Naval officer and engineer as he was commissioned into the U.S. Navy. The support of his family helped him to accomplish his goal.

“Neither of my parents finished high school, but they were the smartest, most hard-working and highly regarded members of the community. Any child would be lucky to have such parents,” Kenneth said.  “They were both grateful I had a chance to go to college and particularly proud I became a cadet in the Aggie Band.”

Although life’s adventures temporarily put a pause on Denise receiving her degree, she found her way back to fulfill her dream of graduating 47 years after first stepping foot in Aggieland. On August 12, 2023, she walked the stage at Reed Arena with her completed degree in hand. Denise’s primary focus was raising and supporting her children as they received their degrees, just as her mother did for her.

Denise Meyer wearing Texas A&M graduation cap and gown.
Image: Courtesy of Denise and Kenneth Meyer

When I transferred, my mom had me sign a letter saying that I promised to graduate. Well, that finally happened, a bit later than any of us thought. I wish they could have been in Reed, but I know they were watching from heaven.

Denise Meyer

“My parents were depression babies and World War II young adults, and college was never in their future,” Denise said. “They were hard-working and, in many ways, self-made. Texas A&M fits my parents, the essence of Aggies who exemplify a work ethic that we are all proud of.”

This endowment is a tribute to Imogene and Carl Lindley and Fay and Robert Meyer, who overcame challenges to pave the way for their children’s success. The Meyers hope this fund will provide opportunities for future Aggie engineers who, like themselves, are first-generation college students. The fund will initially be used to support study abroad, and they hope it will enable students to broaden their horizons and explore engineering outside the classroom.

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.