May 15, 2024

The Welch Foundation and Jon Hagler ’58 Commit $15 Million to the Texas A&M Foundation

A $15 million philanthropic commitment to the Texas A&M Foundation by the Houston-based Robert A. Welch Foundation and Jon Hagler ’58 will support Texas A&M University’s Hagler Institute for Advanced Study and bring some of the world’s top chemistry researchers to the campus. These leading scholars will work with Texas A&M faculty and students to further position the university at the forefront of breakthroughs in chemistry, a field which will play a crucial part in solving some of the world’s most complex challenges, such as finding a cure for Alzheimer’s disease, ensuring clean water supplies or traveling safely to Mars.

The Welch Foundation’s $10 million grant creates the Welch-Hagler Fellows, who will be selected from national academy-level researchers in chemistry and allied interdisciplinary research. “To create a partnership like this with Texas A&M’s Hagler Institute is a compelling opportunity for the Welch Foundation,” said Fred Brazelton, chair of its Board of Directors. “With this funding, we hope to make a meaningful and enduring impact on the students, faculty and future research at the institute.”

Hagler’s $5 million matching investment establishes an endowed chair position that will support a Welch-Hagler Fellow who comes to Texas A&M for up to one year to collaborate with faculty and students. “Texas A&M’s chemistry department is nationally ranked,” Hagler said, “and this is an opportunity for it to get even better.”

Additionally, the university has allocated $200,000 per year for at least 10 years to support fellowships for graduate students who work directly with the Welch-Hagler Fellows. “These fellowships enable our world-class faculty to pursue their cutting-edge research while also investing in the future through supporting graduate students who will go on to expand the field,” said Dr. Alan Sams, executive vice president and provost for Texas A&M University. “Partnerships like the Welch-Hagler Fellows enable Texas A&M to amplify and broaden the reach of our research impact.”

Since its inception in 2010, the Hagler Institute has attracted 116 Hagler Fellows and 10 Distinguished Lecturers to the university. This group has included recipients of the world’s most prestigious honors, including the Nobel Prize, the Wolf Prize, the National Medal of Science, the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, and the National Humanities Medal.

This latest funding marks a significant milestone for the institute. “The Welch Foundation endowment and matching funds will enable the Hagler Institute to average about 12 Fellows and 24 graduate students per year for the immediate future, as compared with an average of about nine Hagler Fellows and 18 graduate students per year during the institute’s first decade,” said its founder and director, Dr. John Junkins.

Overall, this multimillion-dollar investment will enable the institute to enhance faculty research productivity as well as graduate and undergraduate education. And given the far-reaching nature of chemistry and the possibility for interdisciplinary collaboration, the Welch-Hagler Fellows could potentially work with numerous academic units, including chemistry, chemical engineering, biomedical engineering, materials science, medicine and biomedical sciences.



The Texas A&M Foundation is a nonprofit organization that aspires to be among the most trusted philanthropies in higher education. It builds a brighter future for Texas A&M University, one relationship at a time. To learn more, visit For Texas A&M Foundation media inquiries, please contact Dunae Reader at or 979.321.6343.


The Hagler Institute for Advanced Study at Texas A&M University provides a catalyst to enrich the intellectual climate and educational experiences at Texas A&M. It is a mechanism for attracting world-class talent to the university and is driven by nominations of National Academy and Nobel-prize caliber researchers—known as Hagler Fellows—who visit campus for up to one year to collaborate with
Texas A&M faculty and students on research that aligns with the strengths and ambitions of the university.
Learn more at For media inquiries, please contact Dunae Reader at or 979.321.6343.


Since 1954, the Houston-based Welch Foundation has contributed over $1.1 billion to the advancement of chemistry through research grants, departmental research grants, endowed chairs and support for other chemistry-related programs in Texas. In 2023, the Foundation expanded its grant programs to include the Postdoctoral Fellows Grant Program, the Catalyst for Discovery Program Grants, the WelchX Retreat and Pilot Grants, and the Equipment Grant Program. The Foundation also bestows the annual Welch Award in Chemistry, recognizing achievement in basic research internationally, and the Norman Hackerman Award in Chemical Research to early-career Texas scientists. For more information, visit For Welch Foundation media inquiries, please contact Laura Jones at or 713.224.9115