A Study in Lifelong Learning: Honoring Dr. Paul Engler

There are many “schools” we belong to, in the broadest sense, as our daily lives involve numerous points of engagement, learning, and tests. That higher education provides the nexus, respite, and focus for concentrated learning is a sign of a healthy and advancing society.  Paul Engler is a man who has valued both the opportunities and lessons of life as well as the role that higher education plays in honing and sharing the fruits of these lessons.  Having founded the Hereford Feedyard in 1960, and achieving success with Cactus Feeders, Paul Engler has profoundly impacted the Texas Panhandle community with resolute leadership in an industry that profoundly reflects the regional economy.  Whilst being hailed as a self-made businessman and entrepreneur, Dr. Engler saw fit to ensure that his early success in business was used to reinvest in his education; he paid his own way at the University of Nebraska after having started his first cattle business at the age of 12.

Paul Engler Speaks to a Classroom in the Paul and Virginia Engler College of Business

On May 7th, West Texas A&M University awarded Paul Engler with an honorary doctorate in business and in agriculture, respectively from the Paul and Virginia Engler College of Business and the Paul Engler College of Agriculture and Natural Sciences.  This honor is bestowed in recognition of his impact, leadership, and enthusiastic support of WT.  Notably, Mr. Engler, and the Paul F. and Virginia J. Engler Foundation have pledged a naming annual donation of $1 million, divided equally for both colleges, for a period of at least 80 years.  Such a long-term commitment to the enduring value of higher education represents a clear endorsement of the university and the colleges.

Dr. Amjad Abdullat Hoods Paul Engler at the May 7th Commencement

Dr. Engler’s enduring impact and legacy in areas of public affairs, life sciences, humanities and the arts, scholarship and education, and business all facilitate what is a due and just honor.

Above all, Dr. Engler is noted for both astute leadership, but also a kind, generous, and philanthropic heart.  In his honor, the Paul and Virginia Engler College of Business has started the Engler Business Ambassadors program, to promote both Dr. Engler’s values as they infuse and support the mission, values, and principles of the Paul and Virginia Engler College of Business.

“Dr. Engler is a genuine treasure of knowledge and support for the college as he is an example of a legendary, successful pioneer and entrepreneur.  Paul is a visionary who believes in the tremendous potential of individuals and their entrepreneurial spirit. Moreover, Dr. Engler is a passionate supporter of education, and his impact on the College of Business, the University, and our community will endure for generations to come.”

Dr. Amjad Abdullat, Dean of the Paul and Virginia Engler College of Business

Above all, this honor has touched Dr. Engler directly where he considers this degree as being “…probably the finest and most meaningful I have been blessed to receive.”  Dr. Engler is clear in his assertion that it has been the challenges in life and business that been his greatest teachers.  As such, Dr. Engler supports students in their efforts to engage in successful life development through learning.

We are both proud of and honored by Paul’s recognition; his impact on our college, our faculty, our staff, our students, and the wider community will continue for many years to come.