Tarleton receives gift from Saint-Gobain Abrasives

TSU Newsroom

STEPHENVILLE — The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents approved a naming opportunity honoring longtime Tarleton State University benefactor Saint-Gobain Abrasives Inc. The Stephenville company most recently made a donation to the School of Engineering.

Mechanical engineering senior Austin Lay, right, gets true-to-work experience as an intern at Saint-Gobain Abrasives.

A celebration to name the Saint-Gobain Conference Room (Engineering Building 225) and recognize the company for its philanthropic support, community engagement and commitment to higher education is planned for later this year.

“Saint-Gobain’s generosity will enable us to continue strengthening one of the most distinguished engineering programs in North Texas,” said Tarleton President James Hurley. “It will help us graduate work-ready engineers, bolster innovative research and expand the regional economy. We are extremely grateful.”

Saint-Gobain has given liberally over the years to fund fine arts performances, equine therapies, athletics and the Dick Smith Library. A sponsor for Tarleton’s annual summer camp for aspiring engineers in sixth through ninth grades, the company has a long history of giving to the community.

Hurley noted that the number of Tarleton engineering and technology students has doubled in 10 years and that continued enrollment growth is projected.

“Corporate and business partners like Saint-Gobain give our students the opportunity to solve true-to-work challenges their senior year,” he said. “No wonder Tarleton’s engineering graduates are in high demand.”

Four of Saint-Gobain’s current interns are Tarleton Texans. Mechanical engineering senior Austin Lay appreciates gaining real-world experience before he graduates. “We work on projects with Saint-Gobain engineers. After a while we’re not just ‘the interns’ but like engineers ourselves.”

“Our partnership with Saint-Gobain creates opportunities for our students and faculty to collaborate with industry,” said Dr. Denise Martinez, Associate Dean of the Tarleton School of Engineering. “Several of our engineering and engineering technology students and alumni enjoy successful careers at Saint-Gobain. I look forward to our future together.”

The growth in School of Engineering programs — 12 undergraduate and graduate degree options — supports the 60x30 Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s priority to have 60 percent of young adults in Texas earn a higher education credential by 2030.

“We are honored to participate in the transformation that is happening at Tarleton,” said Hilary Stephans, Senior Human Resources Business Partner at Saint-Gobain. “We’ve had a front-row seat to the energy and growth of the School of Engineering and the possibilities this presents.”

Stephans said she envisions Tarleton one day reaching the “absolute top tier of engineering schools.” In 2021 U.S. News & World Report ranked the school among the 200 best in the country, positioning the university as a leader in engineering education and research.

Tarleton’s three-story, state-of-the-art Engineering Building opened in 2019, representing a robust investment by the Legislature, The Texas A&M University System and Tarleton to meet the demand for highly skilled professionals. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of engineers is projected to grow 3% over the next few years, adding 75,000 jobs nationwide.

“There’s a bright future for anyone who earns an engineering degree at Tarleton State University,” Hurley said. “We’re glad to have Saint-Gobain join us on this journey.”