Randolph Foundation Supports Texas A&M Handball Through $1 Million Endowment

handball player making a play for the ball

Pictured is Texas A&M handball instructor, Kayla Jones playing handball. Photo courtesy of Kayla Jones.
Written by: Heather Gillin (cehdcomm@tamu.edu)
Post date: January 07, 2019

For avid handball player Doug Randolph, handball is not just a game. He credits handball with facilitating lifelong friendships and fitness.

On Nov. 30, Randolph gave $1 million to support the Texas A&M Handball team and the sport of handball in Physical Education Activity Programs in Health and Kinesiology, a department in the College of Education and Human Development. This gift will help generations of Aggies find their own fulfillment for years to come.

“If you play handball, not only will you take care of yourself, but you will surround yourself with people that will be great friends,” Randolph said. “Friends who will be competitive and encourage you to stay strong and compete for the rest of your life.”

Randolph, founder of the Randolph Foundation for Higher Education, has been playing handball since he was a freshman in college. He honored retired Brigadier General Donald “Don” Johnson ’55 through the naming of this endowment, entitled BG Donald “Don” Johnson (RET) ’55 Handball Excellence Endowment.

As an undergraduate, Johnson became the first national championship handball player at Texas A&M. After a career in the military, he returned to A&M to serve as a coach and mentor to the Texas A&M Handball team.

Handball was first approved as an intramural sport in 1925. As the sport grew in popularity, the team boasted many nationally ranked teams and players, like national champion Ozzie Burke ‘71.

Burke, who went on to coach the handball team, is friends with Randolph through a mutual love for the sport. By early 2018, the handball program at Texas A&M was fading. Burke brought the state of Texas A&M Handball to the attention of Randolph, who felt moved to help.

Through his gift, the Physical Education Activity Program in the Department of Health and Kinesiology will fund faculty to teach kinesiology 199 handball courses and support the Texas A&M Handball team to travel and compete at regional and national tournaments.

Dr. Melinda Sheffield-Moore ’87, department head of Health and Kinesiology, played handball as an undergraduate at Texas A&M. She credits the sport with providing her the opportunity for travel and personal growth.

“With this generous gift, we have the opportunity to share Texas A&M Handball with many students and hopefully allow them to form a lifetime bond with fellow students like I did,” Sheffield-Moore said.

Through his support for handball at Texas A&M, Randolph will impact many generations of Aggies who will find friends and fitness through the sport just as he did.

To learn more about how you can transform lives in the College of Education and Human Development contact Jody Ford ’99, Sr. Director of Development jford@txamfoundation.com or 979-847-8655.