Gastons endow scholarships, fellowships with $2.5 million gift

The estate of Harry and Rubye Gaston recently made a $2,500,000 legacy gift to benefit both Louisiana Tech University’s College of Education and College of Engineering and Science. The endowments will fund undergraduate scholarships, graduate assistantships and fellowships, and the Engineering General Endowment.

“It is an honor to celebrate the legacy of Harry and Rubye Gaston through their generosity to the students of the College of Education,” said Emily Kabbes, Director of Development. “The priority they placed in supporting students in both the College of Education and College of Engineering and Science is admirable.”

Harry Gaston, Jr., received his Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering at Louisiana Tech in 1952. During Gaston’s time at Tech, he was selected into the engineering honor society, Tau Beta Pi. After graduating he enrolled in the University of Texas in Austin, where he received his Master of Science in Petroleum Engineering and met and married Rubye Oliver.

After serving in the United States Army during the Korean War, Gaston moved to Houston with his wife. Following their move, he joined Robert W. Harrison Company, a petroleum consultant firm, which later merged into Ryder Scott Company Petroleum Engineers. Gaston served as president of the company from 1991 until his retirement in 1997. In 2005, Gaston was named the Alumnus of the Year for the College of Engineering and Science at Tech. He died in 2006, and Rubye passed away in 2018.

Prior to their deaths, the Gastons established endowed scholarships at both Tech and the University of Texas.

“We are thrilled that the Gaston’s generous legacy will forever provide for unparalleled educational experiences,” said Dr. Hisham Hegab, Dean of the College of Engineering and Science. “Their thoughtful allocation aids several initiatives here and now, including our ability to attract and retain top quality graduate students to Louisiana Tech as a premier research institution.”

The endowment was split into four different endowed funds:

  • The Harry and Rubye Gaston Endowed Undergraduate Scholarship for the College of Education provides unrestricted support for undergraduate students in the academic departments of Curriculum, Instruction and Leadership; Kinesiology; and Psychology and Behavioral Sciences, as well as other programs including Call Me MiSTER and UTeachTech. 
  • The Harry and Rubye Gaston Endowed Graduate Scholarship was established to attract and retain outstanding graduate students in the College of Engineering and Science.
  • The Mattie Black Gaston Memorial Endowed Scholarship was established to provide funds for a student with high academic potential in the College of Engineering and Science who would otherwise be unable to attend Tech due to financial need.
  • The Engineering Endowment is used to fund scholarship and other expenses within the college on an as-needed basis.

The Gaston family gift enhances programs in the colleges of Education and Engineering and Science, allowing the University flexibility to respond to needs and create more opportunities to fund students’ educations well into the future.

“We are grateful they made this important decision together regarding their estate plans while they were living so that we may pay their gift forward to the many, many students who will be positively impacted by their lives and generosity,” Kabbes said.