University Names 'Friends of Engineering' Award Recipients

Published: May 13, 2013

The “Friends of Engineering” Award at Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi honors the outstanding achievements of supporters for the School of Engineering and Computing Sciences. Honorees are chosen for their significant impact on the development and continued excellence of the facilities, faculty and students.

Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa

As a member of the Senate Finance Committee, Sen. Juan “Chuy” Hinojosa helped Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi secure $45 million in funding for Island Hall, which is home to the University’s Nursing, Health Sciences, and Kinesiology programs. He has also worked to protect institutional enhancement funding and was instrumental in securing a special item request that has allowed for the development of the Mechanical Engineering Program. During the 82nd legislative session in 2011, when funding for special items was cut, he was able to restore $500,000 for the Engineering Program.


Rep. Todd A. Hunter

State Rep. Todd Hunter serves as the Chairman of the Calendars Committee for the Texas House of Representatives. In the last session, when cuts to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, including the Engineering Program, were considered, Chairman Hunter made arrangements for the Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee to meet with University President Flavius Killebrew to discuss what those cuts would mean for the campus programs. Hunter’s legislative support made possible the creation and continued development of the Mechanical Engineering Program, the School of Engineering and Computing Sciences, and the Coastal Bend Business Innovation Center. 


Bernard A. Paulson

For more than two decades, Bernard A. Paulson has advocated for the creation of an engineering program that would attract top corporations to the Coastal Bend. Since he retired in 1988 as President of Koch Refining Company and Vice President of the parent company, Koch Industries, he has owned several companies. He is currently Chairman of the Board of TOR Minerals International, Inc.; Past President of the Texas A&M Corpus Christi Foundation; has served on numerous volunteer boards; and generously contributes to Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.


Dr. Robert R. Furgason

Dr. Robert R. Furgason, who served as Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi President from 1990 to 2004, became the first Director of the Harte Research Institute. During that time, he established engineering technology programs which laid the foundation to establish the Mechanical Engineering Program. As head of the HRI, Furgason helped bring leading oceanic experts from the academic, governmental, and private sectors to Corpus Christi for the first State of the Gulf of Mexico Conference in 2005. He and his wife, Gloria, led fundraising efforts to expand the South Texas Institute for the Arts and to build the University’s $18 million Performing Arts Center.


Larry J. Urban

Larry J. Urban, chief project engineer and co-founder of Urban Engineering, co-chaired Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi’s highly-successful Momentum Campaign with his wife, Karen. The campaign has provided funds for facilities, equipment, and scholarships.  Urban is a member of the Texas Society of Professional Engineers and the National Society of Professional Engineers. He received the 2010 G. Russell Kirkland Distinguished Visitor in Business Administration Award, presented by the College of Business at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi, for his contributions to the success of students, faculty, the University, and the community.