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KINGSVILLE  — For the second year in a row, the President’s Legacy Ball set

new standards in both attendance and sponsorships. More than 400 people attended the highly

anticipated gala, which served to recognize three major contributors to the university with

induction into its Legacy Society. Janell and Stephen “Tio” Kleberg, Jimmy and Carol Geryk

and Whataburger Restaurants were the honorees for the evening.

The event has seen escalating totals in attendance since President Steven Tallant, Ph.D. assumed

leadership of the university. In 2009, his first year at the university, the record attendance was

established at 296. In 2011 a new standard of more than 325 was set, a number shattered by this

year’s show of support. This year’s event also sold out more than a week in advance.

The evening’s program included remarks from Chairman, Board of Regents of the Texas A&M

University System, Richard A. Box and Chancellor of the Texas A&M University System, John

Sharp. Texas A&M University-Kingsville President, Dr. Steven Tallant, also addressed the

crowd with a message after conducting the ceremonial induction of the honorees. This year’s

event marked the second time a Chancellor of the Texas A&M University System had attended

the event, and the first such occasion for a Chairman of the Board of Regents.

The evening also included a gourmet meal, which was served before the celebration turned to

musical entertainment and dancing. A silent auction was also held.

In addition to its attendance marks, new records were set for sponsor support. Thirty-six

sponsors purchased tables at the event, 28 of which were corporations or donors. Among the

elite level sponsors were Gold Legacy Sponsors ($5,000) Janell & Stephen “Tio” Kleberg and

Kleberg Bank. Sponsors at the Silver Legacy Patron ($2,500) level were Alderson & Associates,

Mr. & Mrs. W.H. & Joyce Bynum, Coldwell Banker Homestead Properties, Inc., ExxonMobil,

H-E-B, Tim & Karen Hixon, Javelina Alumni Association, King Ranch, Inc., Marmon Mok

Architecture, Office of Student Affairs and Riviera Telephone Company.

The President’s Legacy Ball is annually held in the Memorial Student Union Building Ballrooms

and hosted by the university’s President and First Lady, Dr. Steven Tallant and wife, Karen.

Each year the event recognizes individuals, families, corporations and foundations whose

cumulative donations to the university total more than $100,000 with induction into the

university’s Legacy Society. Honorees receive a plaque that is unveiled at the event and later

hung on the University Legacy Wall of Honor. Proceeds from the event go towards student

scholarships through the University Scholarship Endowment. Prior to this year’s event, more

than $250,000 had been raised for scholarships through the event. The total proceeds for this

year’s event were still being tabulated at the time of this release, but it was believed to be the

most successful fundraiser in the event’s nine-year history.

This year’s honorees have demonstrated long-standing support to the university. Jimmy and

Carol Geryk were acknowledged for their strong support of Javelina Athletics. Through their

business venture EmbroidMe in Kingsville, they have provided camp shirts, game day apparel,

the online storefront shopjavelinaathletics.com and the new EmbroidMe Gift Shop that will soon

be located in Javelina Stadium. In 2011, they also made a substantial gift to Javelina Athletics,

which will serve the university’s student-athletes for years to come.

Janell & Stephen “Tio” Kleberg have given significantly to the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife

Research Institute, Javelina Athletics, President’s Circle and The Wild Horse Desert Project

among many other university programs. They also both serve on the President’s Leadership

Council. Tio is a Texas A&M-Kingsville Foundation Board Trustee and Janell (’74) was

recognized in 2010 as a Distinguished Alumna of the university.

Since 1991, Whataburger Restaurants has been a major partner and contributor toward the

success of Javelina Athletics and Texas A&M University-Kingsville. The restaurant chain has

expanded to 700 locations across ten states since its first restaurant opened in 1950 in Corpus

Christi, Texas. Despite its expansion, Whataburger has remained committed to its South Texas

roots as demonstrated by its support of Texas A&M University-Kingsville.

The décor, invitations and other printed materials for this year’s President’s Legacy Ball were

inspired by a painting entitled The Doorway, by local artist Dolores Price.

First Lady Karen Tallant chairs the President’s Legacy Ball planning committee. The committee

is composed of members of the Kingsville community as well as faculty and staff from the


The other members of the steering committee include: Evelyn Alexander, Judy Allen, Glenda

Best, Maria Crowley, Ricki Cunningham, Mary Cusack, Patricia Cypher, Jane Dodds, Darlynn

Fugate, Maria Estela Garcia, Ginger Gines, George Henkel, Goldia Hubert, Belinda Hughes,

Marchia Hutchison, Abby Lozano, Sandra Messbarger, Joan Nuesch, Dolores Price, Becky

Roberts, Graciela N. Salazar, Darlene Scott, Fran Sharpe, Jean Claire Turcotte, Peggy

Westbrook, Sylvia Woelfel, Connie Womack, Charis Yaklin and Lynn Yaklin.


Editor in Chief of the South Texan at Texas A&M University - Kingsville