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George and Frances Ligler sitting on cabin stairs.
George and Frances Ligler | Image: Courtesy of George and Frances Ligler.

George and Frances Ligler established the MTDE Endowed Excellence Fund for the Department of Multidisciplinary Engineering at Texas A&M University, leaving their mark as both faculty members and philanthropists.

A Legacy of Leading

George, a Dean's Excellence Chair in Multidisciplinary Engineering and Rhodes scholar from Oxford University, has been impacting Aggies since his welcome to College Station as a tenured professor in 2022. Beyond teaching and research, George, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, has served on eleven national academy committees and boards and recently earned a prestigious appointment to the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine Division Committee on Engineering and Physical Sciences. 

Frances, a Texas A&M University Distinguished Professor and Eppright Chair in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, is no stranger to breaking barriers. With degrees from Furman and Oxford, she is a National Academy of Engineering member and a trailblazer in portable optical biosensors, earning her a spot in the National Inventors Hall of Fame in 2017.

"As I think about my legacy as an inventor, there's no greater tribute than being a mentor, role model and inspiration to future generations,” Frances said.

Frances' passion all began with a high school science fair victory. Now, she is dedicated to translating medical devices and biosensing systems. Notably, she was recognized with the Presidential Rank of Distinguished Senior Professional by President Bush and the Presidential Rank of Meritorious Senior Professional by President Obama. Frances has received honorary doctorates from institutions like the Agricultural University of Athens, Greece, and Furman University.

The Heart of Philanthropy

George and Frances Ligler at the National Inventors Hall of Fame Induction Gala.
George and Frances Ligler at the National Inventors Hall of Fame Induction Gala. | Image: Courtesy of George and Frances Ligler.

In March 2022, George and Frances joined Texas A&M not just as educators but as catalysts for change. Their commitment to education goes further than the confines of lecture halls and labs. Their goal is to enhance multidisciplinary engineering at Texas A&M.

The MTDE Endowed Excellence Fund is more than a financial resource; it is a testament to the Liglers' belief in the power of education and action. As the fund grows, so will the opportunities for transformation within the department, leaving a legacy for generations to come. 

Their passion for helping others does not stop in Aggieland. Both actively participate at Camp Invention, a summer camp organized by the National Inventors Hall of Fame and dedicated to helping elementary school kids recognize that they, too, can innovate. To inspire future inventors, the Liglers share their own story of how science and inventions impacted them.

The Liglers are architects of a brighter future for engineering at Texas A&M.


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.