Tradition is a hallmark of Lyle Eastham ’94’s life. His father, Gerald, only attended Texas A&M University for two years before joining the U.S. Marines to fight in the Korean War. Gerald never returned to Texas A&M as a student, but he passed on his affinity for the university to his son Lyle, and the Aggie spirit and traditions have stayed in their family for generations.
Lyle and his wife, Andrea Eastham ’94, established the Andrea R. and Lyle A. Eastham Liberal Arts Distinguished Student Scholarship. Each semester for five years, one student majoring in communication, international studies, or economics will receive $10,000 to help pay for his or her tuition, books, and other expenses. This transformational gift will allow recipients to focus on their academic success and participate in high-impact learning opportunities rather than worry about affording tuition.
Lyle believes strongly in the Aggie core values, especially selfless service. He has slept outside in the cold to raise money for the homeless, purchased hundreds of combat boots in support of military veterans, and contributed to various charities. Giving back is an important part of being an Aggie, he said.
Besides becoming an Aggie like his dad, Lyle took the reins of the family oil business started by his father. He said his broad and diverse education has been invaluable throughout his career, especially during challenging years in the oil industry. Lyle came to Texas A&M as an engineering major and later switched to business management. But after taking a few upper-level courses in communication, he developed a passion for the subject and decided to pursue a degree in speech communication.
“A lot of people really don’t know what the [communication] major entails. There’s no doubt that I’ve used everything. I had to communicate with people that were 30 years my senior right when I started work,” Eastham said.
Lyle hopes the scholarship he and his wife have created will remind students of the strength and impact of the Aggie network and traditions, something he and his wife work to instill in their own children–one who is currently attending Texas A&M and two more who are planning to do the same.
“We tell them what makes Texas A&M special. We don’t just say, ‘Put an A&M shirt on.’ We talk about the traditions,” Eastham said.
With more than 7,500 undergraduates pursuing a Liberal Arts degree, scholarship support is more valuable than ever. Your partnership affords our students the opportunity to participate in collaborative learning experiences, which help us recruit and retain top-performing students.