HOUSTON--Holograms coupled with advanced technological simulations and exhibits were the main attraction during Prairie View A&M University’s annual spring fundraiser black-tie Gala, held April 25 in Houston’s George R. Brown Convention Center. This year’s Gala theme “Celebrating Our Global Impact on Engineering and Technology,” highlighted one of the university’s flagship programs- the newly named Roy G. Perry College of Engineering. Proceeds from the Gala benefit student scholarships and the university’s endowment.
Roy G. Perry, PVAMU class of 1978, served as honorary chairman for this year’s Gala event. Perry, who made a name for himself when he became one of the first black executives at Dell, Inc., was honored prior to the Gala on April 23, when the university held a name dedication ceremony for the naming of the PVAMU Roy G. Perry College of Engineering. The ceremony included a formal ceremony and presentations from Perry’s professional colleagues from organizations such as IBM and Dell.
The sold-out Gala hosted more than 900 attendees. Prairie View A&M University President George C. Wright and his wife Valerie Wright, hosted an evening filled with PVAMU alumni, students, parents and supporters from companies such as Shell Oil and Raytheon. Representing the Texas A&M University System (TAMUS) was TAMUS Chancellor Michael D. McKinney and his wife Lou Ann McKinney, who were both on-hand to greet Gala attendees and witness the university’s first debut of “Imagine the Possibilities,” a documentary on the history and relevance of PVAMU’s renowned engineering program.
Mia Gradney from KIAH-TV Channel 39 emceed the program which included a Motown singing and dance review performed by talented PVAMU students and a special awards presentation honoring Accenture as the university’s Cluster Company of the Year and top corporate supporter.
Dr. Kelvin Kirby, associate professor of engineering, presented awards to outstanding faculty, staff and students in the Roy G. Perry College of Engineering. Awards were presented in the following categories: Faculty Teaching Award to Sherri Frizell, assistant professor of computer science; Faculty Research Award to Dr. Richard Wilkins, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering; Faculty Service Award to Dr. Paul Biney, professor of mechanical engineering; Outstanding Staff Award to Chris Galvez, system analyst; Outstanding Student Award to Antoinette Majors, a senior computer engineering major.
Mark S. Falls, PVAMU class of 1982 delivered an alumni response to the audience, which prompted on-site donations which garnered more than $10,000.
President Wright presented the 2009 President’s View & Vision Award posthumously to the late Thomas N. Fogarty, which was accepted by his Margaret Ann Fogarty. Fogarty helped acquire millions in research funding for the College of Engineering and served as professor emeritus of electrical engineering, director of both the Center for Materials, Microelectronics and Microfabrication (CM3) and the Center for Applied Radiation Research (CARR).
Kendall T. Harris, dean of the Roy G. Perry College of Engineering closed out the evening program with acknowledgements and special thanks to the university’s supporters, which have since 2005, helped PVAMU’s annual Gala experience success.
Each year, PVAMU consistently produces more African-American and minority engineers than any school in Texas and across the U.S. The university’s College of Engineering has an established reputation for producing engineers who have made huge contributions to many of America’s FORTUNE 500 companies and in their communities in the U.S. and across the world.
Graduating its first class in the 1950s, PVAMU’s College of Engineering has become one of the most prestigious and respected producers of talented engineers, computer scientists and technologists. The College has built its reputation on the quality of its research and the opportunities it affords its students and faculty, through partnerships with organizations such as NASA, Shell Oil Company, Exxon Mobil Oil Company, the U.S. Dept. of Defense and Texas Instruments. Housed in the university’s engineering complex, the College offers degrees in chemical engineering, civil engineering, computer science, computer engineering, engineering technology and mechanical engineering.
To commemorate the history of the Prairie View A&M University Roy G. Perry College of Engineering, the university’s Office of Institutional Relations created a book titled “A View of Innovation: A History of the Prairie View A&M University Roy G. Perry College of Engineering”. Proceeds from the sale of the book will benefit the university’s Historical Marker Fund. Books can be ordered by contacting (936) 261-2134 or www.pvamu.edu.
Gala attendees learn about PVAMU’s research in virtual reality and visualization during the pre-Gala reception. 2009
Photo: Grady Carter
Prairie View A&M University Gala 2009
Theme: “Celebrating Our Global Impact on Engineering and Technology”.
Photo: Grady Carter
Gala 2009 Honorary Chair, Alumnus Roy G. Perry, delivers Gala remarks.
Photo: Grady Carter
PVAMU President George C. Wright (left) and Dean Kendall T. Harris (right) present the 2009 President’s View & Vision Award to Margaret Ann Fogarty (center), who accepted the award posthumously for the late Thomas N. Fogarty, a former professor in the PVAMU Roy G. Perry College of Engineering.
Photo: Grady Carter
About Prairie View A&M University
Prairie View A&M University was founded in 1876 and is the second-oldest public institution of higher education in Texas. With an established reputation for producing engineers, business leaders, nurses and educators, PVAMU offers baccalaureate degrees in 42 academic majors, 46 master’s degrees and four doctoral degree programs through eight colleges and schools. The university recently named its College of Engineering for PVAMU alumnus Roy G. Perry and the University’s marching band, The Marching Storm, was featured as the lead band in the 2009 Rose Parade. A member of The Texas A&M University System, the university is dedicated to fulfilling its land-grant mission of achieving excellence in teaching, research and service. During the university’s 132-year history, more than 50,000 academic degrees have been awarded. For more information regarding PVAMU, visit www.pvamu.edu.