COLLEGE STATION―In a misty dedication ceremony on Friday attended by about 130 guests, the Texas A&M Foundation honored Houston oilman H. J. “Hank” Gruy and his wife, Rae, when it activated for the first time a 7,000-gallon fountain on the grounds of the Jon L. Hagler Center.
The fountain was designed by The Fountain Company in collaboration with PageSoutherlandPage and built by Turner Construction. The multi-tiered structure features 30 water jets, 32 lights and 200 pieces of man-made stone weighing a total of 15 tons. Construction began on the fountain in July, and rumor has it that the lights may shine maroon on game days.
Headquarters of the Texas A&M Foundation, the Hagler Center is located on the corner of George Bush Drive and Houston Street on the Texas A&M campus. The Foundation is Texas A&M’s major gift fundraising organization, managing net assets of $1 billion. Its staff of 88 works closely with donors―the majority of who are former students like Gruy ―to support academics, student activities and facilities.
“Hank loves this school and was thrilled to have the opportunity to attend Texas A&M,” said Rae Gruy. “His heart has always been with the Aggies. It shows true devotion for all of you to have come out on a rainy day like this to be here for the dedication of our fountain.”
Hank Gruy earned a bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineering from Texas A&M and over 60 years built a successful career in the oil and gas business, culminating in the position of chairman, president and chief executive officer of Houston-based H. J. Gruy and Associates. He has been active in professional associations at the national and state levels and is a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the National Oil and Natural Gas Producers Association, the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Independent Petroleum Association of America, and in 1990 was named a Distinguished Alumnus of Texas A&M.
At age 92 he and his wife fulfilled a dream Friday of leaving a tangible landmark on the Texas A&M campus, which has educated five generations of Gruy Aggies.
An inscription on a wall near the fountain bears the names of 11 family members, 10 of whom attended Texas A&M. (Rae Gruy is a graduate of Sam Houston State University.) Their class years span from 1937 to 2005. The inscription also reads: “This fountain was built with devotion to honor the Aggies of the Gruy family. It was donated to the Texas A&M Foundation as an enduring symbol of the Gruy legacy. May all Aggies young and old enjoy its beauty and find respite here.”
The fountain is one of 10 to adorn Texas A&M’s College Station campus.
John R. Stropp ’66, interim president of the Texas A&M Foundation, said the fountain is a place that everyone in the campus community can enjoy. “We are honored that the Gruys chose our headquarters as the location for this striking fountain,” he said. “It is now the crown jewel of the Jon L. Hagler Center, and the Gruys have joined a long list of loyal, distinguished and generous former students who dedicate their time and money to make Texas A&M a better place.”