Texas Tech University

Young Guns Give Back



Young Guns share their experiences about why they give back to Texas Tech and the Whitacre College of Engineering.

Andrew Spangler
B.S. Chemical Engineering - 2000

"It doesn't feel very long ago that I was spending time at Texas Tech. In the midst of my studying, however, I was working extra jobs to make ends meet. My grades were not as high as they could have been and I did not get to have quite the same amount of fun as my peers. But more than anything, I constantly lived in stress and fear about where and how the next semester's money was going to appear. If not for the scholarships I received, I doubt I would have graduated. Once I began my career, I decided I was going to do what I could to help give other students a chance to break free from this additional stress and strain. That's why I started an endowment in the Whitacre College of Engineering. I hope that other young alumni will be inspired to make a real difference in a student's life by also finding a way to give back."

Simeon Eburi
B.S., M.S. Petroleum Engineering - 2006, 2007

"I was fortunate to receive financial support while in college. Without financial support, I would not have been able to earn my degrees. As a student, I did not completely understand the source of the funds – I was just happy I was a recipient. After I graduated, I realized I could help make a difference in the lives of committed students and decided to give back to Texas Tech University to help more students further their education and pursue their dreams."

Bryant HEATH
B.S., M.S. Electrical & Computer Engineering - 2007, 2009

"Whether it was in the bleachers for a baseball game or on the front row at graduation, my grandparents prided themselves on being ardent supporters of Texas Tech University all of their lives. After they recently passed away, I decided that one of the best ways to honor their memory would be through a donation that would continue in perpetuity to the university they loved most. That's why I helped establish the Eugene and Janey Heath Engineering Endowment: it's a perfect way to recognize their commitment to myself, my family, and Texas Tech University."

James Baumgartner
B.S. Mechanical Engineering - 2009

"I have several reasons for giving back to Texas Tech. My parents taught me to give cheerfully and to be a good steward of that which I was given. I was fortunate enough to receive scholarships when I was at Tech, and so for me personally, there is no better way to say 'thank you' than to set up a lasting scholarship endowment for future Red Raiders.

Additionally, I look at giving back to Texas Tech as an investment in my own degree. Supporting student scholarships helps Texas Tech attract and graduate top students. As these top students graduate, they maintain and improve the overall image of Texas Tech University. This is a win/win for students and alumni in the long run. I love Texas Tech and I want to continue to see it be the greatest university around. Guns Up!"

Mark Olsen
B.S. Mechanical Engineering - 2009

"Education is a fundamental element of success in this world as it replaces an empty mind with an open one. It provides new opportunities to the dedicated students who are willing to invest the time and resources to continue their academic development. I continue to be inspired by students who are able to succeed in their academic development despite the sacrifices that must be made in their personal lives (part time job, frugal lifestyle, etc.). For this reason I decided to give back to the students of Texas Tech University in an effort to help alleviate some of the financial hardships along their academic journey. My hope is that other Young Guns recognize their potential and feel empowered to make a positive impact on the lives of young students at Texas Tech."

Ruslan Filyukov
B.S. Mechanical Engineering - 2009

"Education is a luxury most individuals take for granted and not everyone can afford. Although some students feel entitled to it, there are many places in the world where if one has financial limitations they are unable to attend a university and miss the opportunity to better themselves. When a student wants to work hard and understands the true benefits of receiving a higher degree, but is financially struggling, I believe they should be rewarded for their hard work.

My time at Texas Tech University was fun, exciting, educational, but also financially difficult. Thankfully I was able to rely on scholarships throughout my Texas Tech engineering experience. It is through the generosity of donors and their scholarships that I was able to graduate with my engineering degree and fulfil my dreams. I was truly thankful to the donors who were able to give me the opportunity to receive my education and I believe that every hard working student who keeps up his/her GPA is deserving of the same opportunity. This is the reason why my wife, Alicia, and I decided to give back and provide the same opportunity for hard working engineers looking to fulfil their dreams at Whitacre College of Engineering. “It always seems impossible until it's done” – Nelson Mandela.”

David Eckert
B.S. Electrical Engineering - 2014

“My hope is that this endowment will increase access to engineering education for high performing electrical engineering students, resulting in increased placement of qualified and hard-working professionals across the globe representing Texas Tech and giving us all a good name…After looking into establishing an endowment, I realized it would cost me a lot less than I expected because of my company match and I could tailor my giving to match my specific goal of supporting Electrical Engineering students and industry. I would recommend others at least do the calculations and see how much it might really cost out of pocket per month - the result may surprise you!”