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Randy Shepard Scholarship for Biologists

09/30/2008 2:38 PM

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College of Science


Aggie Graduate Establishes Scholarship for Biologists


COLLEGE STATION -- As head of a major ophthalmology practice on the East Coast, Randall Shepard knows all too well the value of a quality education.

     In an effort to pay tribute to his educational roots at Texas A&M University and help future Aggies learn the same life lesson, Shepard recently created an endowed scholarship in the Texas A&M College of Science.

Randy Shepard '71

     Shepard, who earned a bachelor's degree in zoology at Texas A&M in 1971, has established the Randall C. Shepard '71 Endowed Scholarship in Biology through the Texas A&M Foundation to support undergraduate students pursuing degrees in biology from Texas A&M.

     Since 2000 Shepard has served as chief executive officer for Eye Health Services Inc., a 22-ophthalmologist practice with multiple offices on Boston's South Shore area extending from Quincy to Cape Cod. Prior to 2000, he served in a similar capacity in Texas at Austin Retina Associates.

     "Education is the key to success in any business," Shepard says. "The College of Science at Texas A&M University has been the key in my success."

     Shepard says he originally intended to pursue a career in medicine until one of his Texas A&M professors, Dr. Howard Gravett, steered him toward research. After graduating from Texas A&M, Shepard spent 10 years in oncology research in the Houston area before heading to Baylor College of Medicine, where he specialized in medical administration and related educational activities.

     "The best contribution one can make is to provide the gift of knowledge," Shepard notes. "That is something the College of Science at Texas A&M University does exceedingly well.

     "I trust that the college and the university will select student recipients who, too, will learn the value of a quality education and, in time, use their knowledge and success to provide a gift for the next generation of Aggies."

     A member of the College of Science External Advisory & Development Council (EADC) since 2007, Shepard is actively involved in a variety of community affairs in the greater Boston area as well as the state of Massachusetts. He serves as vice chair for economic and community development for the South Shore Chamber of Commerce. In addition, he is industry sector chair for the Massachusetts Governor's Workforce Advisory Board and has been appointed by the governor to chair Links to Education, a statewide committee that works with universities throughout Massachusetts to develop curricula more applicable to existing industry needs and better suited to addressing current job skill gaps.

     "We are grateful to Mr. Shepard for his contribution to the education of our current students," said Dr. Thomas D. McKnight, professor and acting head of the Texas A&M Department of Biology. "His gift will make it a little easier for them to remain on the path to success. It will also remind them that sharing a small part of their eventual success with the next generation of students is an important role they can play in the Aggie family."

     As the scientific core of Texas A&M University, the College of Science provides the required mathematical and science foundations for all Texas A&M majors, teaching 20 percent of the university's total semester credit hours, or one in every five classroom hours logged by its more than 48,000 students. The college annually conducts nearly $40 million in sponsored research in pursuit of scholarly knowledge and technical solutions that benefit the world.

     To learn more about endowed scholarships or other giving opportunities through the Texas A&M Foundation, visit

     Contact: Shana K. Hutchins, (979) 862-1237 or [email protected]

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