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Randall C. Shepard '71 (right), pictured here with fellow College of Science External Advisory & Development Council member Leslie Lenser '87 (left), routinely gives back to his alma mater and current Aggie students, from endowing scholarships in biology as well as physics and astronomy to guest-lecturing for classes and various student groups.

COLLEGE STATION --

As a successful chief executive officer for a major ophthalmology practice in the Boston area, Texas A&M University former student Randall C. Shepard '71 has made the most of his Aggie education, forging an extensive business career as well as a progressive reputation in community and workforce development circles extending from the Lone Star State to the East Coast.

After many years of effectively assisting both doctors and patients at Eye Health Services Inc., Shepard hopes to help future Aggies expand the boundaries of their own influence as they close in on the limits of the cosmos, thanks to a new endowed scholarship he recently created in the Texas A&M College of Science.

Shepard, who earned his bachelor's degree in zoology at Texas A&M in 1971, has established the Randall C. Shepard '71 Endowed Scholarship in Astrophysics through the Texas A&M Foundation. The scholarship -- his second to benefit undergraduate students in the College of Science -- is intended to support students pursuing undergraduate degrees in the Texas A&M Department of Physics and Astronomy, with preference given to junior or senior students who are seeking minors in astronomy.

"It is our obligation as former students to insure that future generations have the backing to achieve their dreams," Shepard said. "Motivated by our students in Physics and Astronomy, I feel compelled to help further the education of the next generation that will go farther than others have gone before them."

During his own undergraduate days, Shepard says he originally intended to pursue a career in medicine until one of his Texas A&M professors, Dr. Howard Gravett, steered him toward research. After graduating from Texas A&M, Shepard spent 10 years in oncology research in the Houston area before heading to Baylor College of Medicine, where he specialized in medical administration and related educational activities.

Since 2000, Shepard has overseen the 22-ophthalmologist Eye Health Services Inc. practice, which features multiple offices on Boston's South Shore area extending from Quincy to Cape Cod. Prior to 2000, he had served in a similar capacity in Texas at Austin Retina Associates.

"A cash gift to establish an endowed scholarship in astrophysics is one of many ways to give and a simple one for me," said Shepard, who in 2008 established a prior endowed scholarship for biology majors. "I trust this gift will serve as a catalyst to motivate others to do the same."

A past chair of the College of Science External Advisory & Development Council (EADC) and a member since 2007, Shepard remains actively involved in a variety of community affairs in the greater Boston area as well as the state of Massachusetts. He serves as vice chair for economic and community development for the South Shore Chamber of Commerce. In addition, he has been industry sector chair for the Massachusetts Governor's Workforce Advisory Board and has been appointed by the governor to chair Links to Education, a statewide committee that works with universities throughout Massachusetts to develop curricula more applicable to existing industry needs and better suited to addressing current job skill gaps.

In addition to the prior scholarship in the Department of Biology, Shepard also provided matching funds to double the endowment for the Emily and Robert Walker Endowed Scholarship in Science in tribute to the late Robert V. Walker '45, a past chair and vice-chair of EADC and distinguished alumnus of both the College of Science (2004) and Texas A&M University (2012).

"The College of Science is indeed fortunate to have the generous support of a man of Randy Shepard's stature, energy and enthusiasm," said Dr. H. Joseph Newton, dean of the College of Science. "On many occasions during the past several years, Randy has looked at situations in the college and has said, 'I can help solve that, either through my experience and advice or with some funding.' His advice and counsel have been invaluable, and I thank him for his latest contribution to Texas A&M Science."

To learn more about endowed scholarships or other giving opportunities through the Texas A&M Foundation, visit http://giving.tamu.edu.

-aTm-

Contact: Shana K. Hutchins, (979) 862-1237 or shutchins@science.tamu.edu

Hutchins Shana

  • Randy Shepard '71

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