A lifework observed

Seagraves gives scholarship
in Professor Murphy's name

While college professors often play profound roles in the lives of their students, more often than not, they’re never made aware of it.

George W. Seagraves II ’80 wanted to make sure that didn’t happen with his favorite Texas A&M professor. But instead of a thank-you note, Seagraves endowed a $25,000 scholarship in the name of Michael D. Murphy. The associate professor of landscape architecture and urban planning knew nothing about the honor until a departmental banquet in April, when the scholarship was announced.

“My reaction was described to me as a deer in headlights,” Murphy said with a laugh. “I was very flattered that George attached my name to the scholarship. But I was even more pleased about the way it will help students. Down the road when no one knows who either of us is, the scholarships will still be there for the students.”

Seagraves’ parents were educators, and he realized early on that those in education are rarely thanked for the critical roles they play in the lives of students.

Murphy was Seagraves’ faculty adviser and taught several of his landscape architecture design courses. Seagraves said lessons learned in those classes prepared him for his supervisory position at a homebuilding company.

“Professor Murphy challenged his students, though I probably didn’t appreciate it as much then as I do now,” Seagraves said. “My job now is to challenge people to perform at their peak levels instead of always taking the easiest road.”

Scholarships from groups in his home state of North Carolina helped Seagraves afford college. He hopes students will benefit in kind from the architecture scholarship he is endowing.

Dr. Walter Peacock, interim head of the landscape architecture and urban planning department when the gift was presented, said, “This is a wonderful gift, not only as a permanent tribute to one of our finest faculty, but also as a source of support to each new generation of landscape architecture students.”

— The End —

January 11, 2005

George W. Seagraves II ’80 is president of the Northeast Region of D.R. Horton Inc., a nationwide residential homebuilder.


Michael Murphy