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(From left to right:) Tyson Voelkel, Texas A&M Foundation President; Meigan Aronson, Dean of the College of Science; John A. Gladysz and Janet F. Bluemel, Partner in Philanthropy Faculty Award recipients; and Otway Denny, Texas A&M Foundation Trustee. (Credit: Jim Lyle.)

COLLEGE STATION --

Texas A&M University chemists Janet F. Bluemel and John A. Gladysz have been selected as recipients of the 2017 Texas A&M Foundation Partner in Philanthropy Faculty Award.

The Foundation established the award to celebrate faculty members who demonstrate dedicated commitment to philanthropy at Texas A&M University. The accolade acknowledges faculty efforts to build long-term productive relationships between the university, former students and other private partners in philanthropy.

To be selected, faculty must be nominated by a member of the Texas A&M Foundation development staff. Recipients are chosen based on their participation and commitment to creative leadership and philanthropy.

Bluemel and Gladysz were recognized Friday (Jan. 27) at the conclusion of Gladysz' Frontiers in Texas A&M Science lecture in the Stephen W. Hawking Auditorium. A third recipient, Texas A&M agricultural economics professor M. Edward Rister, also received the award for 2017 at a presentation hosted earlier this month by the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Bluemel and Gladysz are longtime philanthropic supporters of higher education. The couple made substantial provisions in their estate to support Texas A&M by creating two endowed faculty chairs and an unrestricted fund in chemistry. Their support bolstered chemistry department programs, the Texas A&M University Institute for Advanced Study and the College of Science. A separate gift also guarantees a happy home for their cats at Texas A&M's Stevenson Companion Animal Life-Care Center.

Each of their generous contributions counts toward the goal of the university's Lead by Example campaign.

Bluemel and Gladysz are outspoken proponents of the importance of philanthropy. In 2015, the couple presented at a Lead by Example campaign leadership summit, providing personal insights into their desire to promote giving to Texas A&M. They explained that well-funded programs attract the best and brightest students and faculty, creating an environment for world-class teaching, research and service.

"As advocates for the power of philanthropy, Dr. Bluemel and Dr. Gladysz have helped build awareness among their colleagues about the importance of strengthening academic programs through high-quality faculty and the role that philanthropy plays in this mission," said Otway Denny, a Texas A&M Foundation trustee who presented their award Friday in Hawking Auditorium.

The couple gives a substantial amount of time to host donors at their home and in their laboratories. In addition to supporting Texas A&M, each has supported their respective alma maters and mentored family members who also wish to leave behind a legacy of philanthropy.

"This award is a great honor for us because it represents the mission of philanthropy, a cause that we hold very dear to our hearts," Gladysz said. "We have taken great pride in watching our family adopt the spirit of giving in their own lives. With guidance from Janet and myself, my parents left their entire states to higher education, with a particular focus on encouraging female engineering students."

Beyond their passion for philanthropy, Bluemel and Gladysz are global innovators in inorganic and organometallic chemistry. Bluemel, who completed her own graduate education at the Technical University of Munich with the help of a fellowship for highly gifted students, holds two patents and has published nearly 100 papers in leading chemistry journals. Gladysz has authored more than 400 papers and patents. A past Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Fellow and a Camille and Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Grant recipient, he received the 2013 Royal Society of Chemistry Award for Organometallic Chemistry.

The Texas A&M Foundation is a nonprofit organization that solicits and manages investments in academics and leadership programs to enhance excellence at Texas A&M. To learn more about the Texas A&M Foundation, go to txamfoundation.com.

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About the Lead by Example Campaign: Launched in 2015, Texas A&M University's third comprehensive fundraising campaign, Lead by Example, is a joint effort between Texas A&M and its affiliate organizations: the Texas A&M Foundation, The Association of Former Students, the 12th Man Foundation and the George Bush Presidential Library Foundation. With a goal of $4 billion, it is the largest higher education campaign in Texas history and the second largest conducted nationally by a public university. The campaign will generate gifts in three major areas: Transformational Learning; Discovery and Innovation; and Impact on the State, Nation and World.

From now through 2020, former students and friends are uniting with our faculty and staff in the campaign to enhance Texas A&M's ability to tackle real-world problems -- such as the global demand for energy and the advancement of human and animal health -- while also preparing future generations of uniquely qualified leaders. For more information on the campaign, visit leadbyexample.tamu.edu.

-aTm-

Contact: Monika Blackwell, (979) 845-7468 or mblackwell@txamfoundation.com

Monika Blackwell

  • Janet F. Bluemel and John A. Gladysz (Credit: Jim Lyle.)

  • Texas A&M Foundation Trustee Otway Denny makes brief remarks prior to presenting the Partner in Philanthropy Faculty Award to Gladysz and Bluemel. (Credit: Jim Lyle.)

  • The Texas A&M Foundation established the Partner in Philanthropy Faculty Award to celebrate faculty members who demonstrate dedicated commitment to philanthropy at Texas A&M University. (Credit: Jim Lyle.)

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