October 4, 2021

Bob DeHart ’75 and his wife, Nancy Nygren, strive to selflessly give back in every aspect of their lives. From donations to their community, nonprofits and educational institutions, many have experienced the couple’s generosity, including Aggies.

However, what’s unique about their giving is not who they’ve given to, but how they’ve creatively used their resources to pay generosity forward to organizations they credit for a lifetime of opportunities.

The Aggie Spirit Overseas

Bob received his master’s degree in industrial engineering from Texas A&M University in 1975 and immediately put his newly learned knowledge to work as a U.S. government civil service employee for the Army and the Air Force. He then entered the private industry and began working for ExxonMobil, then known as Mobil Oil, where he lived overseas for much of his career. His travels led him far from Aggieland, but the lessons he learned in College Station enabled him to take the Aggie Spirit with him.

Through the years, Bob traveled to more than 100 countries, including Qatar, where he worked as an ex-patriate for 16 years, and a founding member of the Qatar A&M Club in 1998. The organization brought the Aggie Spirit to life overseas by holding Aggie Muster. Thanks to Bob and other former students, Muster has been held in Qatar every April since it began in the early 2000s.

This group of Aggies also organized an event called “Boot Scoot” in 1999. The dance originally served as a fundraiser to establish community baseball parks, but after the establishment of the Texas A&M University Qatar campus in 2003, the funds were directed to support students. In 2007, Bob proudly attended the university’s dedication to see a permanent location established for the Aggie Spirit overseas.

"We just want to give to as many institutions as we can in as many ways possible."
Bob DeHart ’75

More Ways to Give

Bob and Nancy credit their successful careers to the institutions that gave them valuable educations. Bob, a graduate of West Virginia University Institute of Technology and Texas A&M, and Nancy, a graduate of the University of Tennessee and the University of Kentucky, show their gratitude for their alma maters through a variety of giving strategies. The couple gives approximately $50,000 a year to these four universities in multiple ways including matching funds and qualified charitable distributions (QCDs). They have also planned a gift through their revocable trusts.

To give to Texas A&M, the couple used ExxonMobil’s EasyMatch gift program to pledge an endowed gift of $25,000 to support engineering students with scholarships. “ExxonMobil will match up to $7,500 annually, so Nancy and I will be able to easily endow our engineering scholarship by next year,” Bob said. Bob and Nancy also planned a $100,000 gift in their revocable trusts to further support their scholarship after their lives. These gifts showcase the couple’s selflessness, but the couple’s charitable spirit led them to seek even more ways to give back.  

One of those ways is through QCDs. Now that Bob is older than 70 ½, he is eligible to make QCDs to the Texas A&M Foundation, a charitable organization. An individual can give up to $100,000 from an IRA with a QCD, and Bob plans on utilizing this method of giving for the remainder of his life. “QCDs are incredibly easy to give back through,” Bob explained. “We can contribute $100,000 a year from my IRA and still live comfortably.”

Seeing the Impact

Bob and Nancy’s generosity has not gone unnoticed. “Our accountant admires that Nancy and I are cheerful givers,” Bob laughed. “We just want to give to as many institutions as we can in as many ways possible.” By choosing to strategically give in many ways, the couple can see their gifts make an impact during their lifetimes.

“We thought that we couldn’t establish scholarships and give back in a big way until after we passed away, but these tools allow us to give back proactively,” Bob said. “It’s special to see that our gifts are making an impact.”

Want to support the College of Engineering with a charitable gift and take advantage of tax benefits? Please contact Kevin Westerman ’11 at the bottom of this page or request a giving guide using the button below.

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