Texas A&M University-Kingsville announced major funding support for its Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute (CKWRI).
The wildlife research organization, considered by many the leading one of its kind in Texas and among the best in the nation, will receive continued funding totaling $16.5 million through 2020 from the Caesar Kleberg Foundation for Wildlife Conservation.
The CKWRI was founded in 1981 with a $3 million endowment from the Caesar Kleberg Foundation for Wildlife Conservation.
The overall commitment of $16.5 million to the CKWRI includes gifts from 2013-2015, plus a pledge through 2020. The usage breakdown of the $16.5 million gift is as follows-
$7.7M is dedicated to the CKWRI Dr. Fred Bryant General Endowment
$7.5M is dedicated to the general support of CKWRI
$1.3M is dedicated to the support of the Tio and Janell Kleberg Research Park
The mission of the CKWRI is to provide science-based information for enhancing the conservation and management of wildlife in South Texas and related environment. The Institute includes 17 outstanding research scientists, covering a wide range of specialties. Modern high-tech facilities, specially designed wildlife study pens, and rangeland tracts provide an ideal environment for conducting quality research by Institute faculty.
"The Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute is the gold standard for wildlife research," Steven H. Tallant, president of Texas A&M-Kingsville, said. "The support of the Caesar Kleberg Foundation for Wildlife Conservation has been vital to the Institute. It was a Foundation grant that established the Institute, and through the total commitment of the Caesar Kleberg Foundation and its relationship with Texas A&M University-Kingsville, we have the leading wildlife research organization in the state. The future of the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute is brighter than ever, thanks in large part to this inspiring pledge of support from the Caesar Kleberg Foundation for Wildlife Conservation."
Stephen J. "Tio" Kleberg, a trustee of the Caesar Kleberg Foundation for Wildlife Conservation, said at the event he believed each of the scientists represented at the Institute, along with its director, Dr. Fred Bryant, would rank top in the world for their discipline. "Each one of these men has dedicated their life and their career to wildlife conservation, and there's no one that does it any better. I say that with a lot of pride, because it's something Caesar (Kleberg) would look at and say, 'Job well done.'"
Dr. Fred C. Bryant serves as the Leroy G. Denman, Jr. Endowed Director of Wildlife Research at the CKWRI. He said of the funding, "The Caesar Kleberg Foundation for Wildlife Conservation is the founding entity that allowed this Institute to move forward back in 1981. Since that time, the Foundation has been a tremendous supporter financially, strategically and emotionally-more than any similar entity that I can think of in my 20 years. Tio Kleberg's leadership on that Foundation board, along with his son Chris and of course Duane Leach, have all been a phenomenal source of inspiration for us for more than three decades," Bryant said.
Brad Walker, CEO and Chief Development Officer for the Texas A&M University-Kingsville Foundation, furthered those sentiments of Kleberg. "No single person has been more generous to our university than Tio Kleberg, and as a donor, Mr. Kleberg has provided tremendous leadership. This latest gift commitment from the Caesar Kleberg Foundation for Wildlife Conservation comes at an important time in the university's history. What this support has done for the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute is an incredible example for everyone who cares about our university," Walker said.
Speakers at the event included Tallant, Walker, Kleberg and student Stephanie Shea.