By Dorian Martin ’06
Originally published on February 22, 2021 on the Texas A&M Foundation website.
William “Bill” Jentsch Jr. ’80 believes in the power of uniting individuals with differing perspectives to achieve common goals. Deeply saddened by the unrest of today’s political climate and concerned about misleading information on social media, the Tomball, Texas, resident is committed to educating future policymakers and public servants who embrace a collaborative, nonpartisan approach in addressing the world’s most pressing issues.
To reinforce this perspective, Jentsch created a planned gift in his will to endow a scholarship at Texas A&M University’s Bush School of Government and Public Service. “The culture of Texas A&M is based on the improvement of the individual in order to support the improvement of society as a whole,” he said. “The Bush School takes this approach even further since its mission encompasses the world. The school prepares its graduates to serve in a nonpartisan manner that touches the whole.”
As the president of Rocking J Oil and Gas—who dabbled in politics and worked in gubernatorial campaigns in California and Texas—Jentsch had the opportunity to meet President George H.W. Bush and his family. “I’ve always admired the Bush family and their accomplishments,” he said. “The Bush School was founded at Texas A&M because President Bush wanted it to be nonpartisan and focused on service.”
Jentsch’s Bush School endowment is one of many scholarships—including a President’s Endowed Scholarship and a Regents’ Scholarship—that he has committed in a planned gift to the Texas A&M Foundation. “After I graduated, I was presented with opportunities beyond my wildest dreams. At that point, I made a promise to myself to try in some small way to support future Aggies so they can have similar opportunities,” he said.
Jentsch also strives to lead by example through modeling selfless service in his daily life. For many years—in addition to his own current scholarships in engineering, business, leadership and science—he has helped the Class of 1980 raise funds for numerous scholarships. He recently helped spearhead the relocation of the E. King Gill Statue to an area near Rudder Fountain and elevate its symbolism from selfless service in the athletic arena to selfless service for all Aggies. This led to the Class of 1980 funding the first Texas A&M core values award: the Class of ’80 E. King Gill Selfless Service Award.
“The 12th Man is more than an athletic identity; it’s the core DNA of what Texas A&M is,” he said. “Those traits, embodied in current and former students, are what sets this university above all others. I hope my scholarships help future recipients serve our university, state and nation with character and respect for our core values as well.”