Haynes Endows Learning Community and Honors Late Husband

Written by: CEHD Communications Staff
Post date: December 15, 2010

In August, Reta Haynes honored her late husband, Harold J. "Bill" Haynes '46, and fulfilled her passion for education with a gift of more than $900,000 to endow programs supporting the College of Education and Human Development, Corps of Cadets and Singing Cadets.

"Making this gift gives me a great deal of joy," said Mrs. Haynes. "It's a wonderful opportunity to do something worthwhile, not only for the A&M students who will become teachers, but also for their students and the future leadership of our country."

Mrs. Haynes' gift provides more than $500,000 to endow the Reta Haynes Learning Community at the college, focused on developing and retaining students planning careers in pre-K-12 education.

"Mrs. Haynes’ gift, which is one of the largest received by the college, is incredibly important. Her endowment ensures funding for one learning community each year," said Doug Palmer, dean of the College of Education and Human Development.

The college began the learning communities with annual gifts about eight years ago, Palmer added. Each community includes 30 to 35 students selected from essay submissions. A faculty mentor meets weekly with students, who participate in a range of activities and team-building/leadership exercises. They also interact with leaders in public education and administration.

"The program has proven to be effective in improving retention and academic performance," said Palmer, noting participants’ GPAs typically increase by one-half point.

Mrs. Haynes gave $300,000 to endow three Corps of Cadets 21st Century Scholarships and an additional $13,500 to award the scholarships for the fall 2010 semester. The scholarships honor her husband of 64 years, a 1972 Distinguished Alumnus, and pay tribute to all current and former Corps of Cadets members.

She also contributed $100,000 to establish the Reta Haynes Singing Cadet Endowment Fund. Disbursements from this fund will support the group’s activities and future development. "I have such respect and love for the university. Its values are close to my values, and the cadets are wonderful ambassadors for Texas A&M," Mrs. Haynes said.

Reta and Bill Haynes, former president, chairman and CEO of Standard Oil Co. of California, now Chevron Corp., generously supported Texas A&M during his lifetime. They previously endowed two geosciences faculty chairs, civil engineering fellowships, scholarships and other funds. The Reta and Bill Haynes '46 Coastal Engineering Laboratory in the Zachry Department of Civil Engineering and the Association of Former Students’ Haynes Ring Plaza are named in their honor.