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There is no greater joy, nor greater reward, than to make a fundamental difference in someone’s life.

The Sul Ross State University Foundation was founded in 2004 as an independent nonprofit organization that encourages and supports charitable giving for the benefit of Sul Ross State University. It exists solely for service to and the benefit of Sul Ross State University and its campuses in Alpine, Uvalde, Eagle Pass, and Del Rio.

Who We Are

We are friends of Sul Ross State University.

We believe that a kid’s journey should include the college experience. Our goal is to provide resources that help prepare young people to go forward with confidence in their step and an eagerness to make a difference in the world and in the lives of others.  

The Foundation and the University work in a closely coordinated and cooperative manner to promote a philanthropic culture to benefit the university.

The values of both the Foundation and University: excellence, ethics and integrity, diversity and inclusiveness, growth and exploration, leadership and service, personal connection, and effective communication.

Board of Directors

Rick Stephens is a co-founder of Raising Families, a husband, father, and grandfather. With 33 years of experience as a top-level executive of The Boeing Company and having raised four children of his own, he is able to support parents and grandparents by incorporating his knowledge of business, leadership, and complex systems into the family setting. It is this unique combination of leadership and family life that allows Raising Families to help parents become more joyful and confident, as well as more proactive, intentional family leaders.

Rick currently resides in Alpine, Texas with wife and fellow Raising Families co-founder Elane V. Scott.

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Rick Stephens

Alpine, TX

Beto Hinojosa

Odem, TX

For over three decades, Carla tirelessly served as hospitality entrepreneur and serial volunteer. She is currently serving as Treasurer of the Sul Ross State University Foundation, and is also a member of the Rose Hulman Institute of Technology Sawmill Angels.


Carla McFarland

Alpine, TX

Jaime Velasco

Midland, TX

Robert Wagnon is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Republic State Mortgage Company. Through Robert’s unique philosophy of employee growth and satisfaction, the company has steadily grown since its inception in 1994 from one office in Houston, Texas with 1 employees to over 30 offices spread across 13 states with 240 employees.

A seventh-generation Texan, Robert resides in Houston, Texas with his wife, Ellen Weingarten Wagnon. Robert enjoys traveling and adventures with Ellen and their three sons, Robert is an avid and passionate outdoorsman and pilot.


Robert Wagnon

Houston, TX

What We Have Accomplished

These are a few of the projects we have supported:

  • Museum of the Big Bend
  • Student Scholarships and Internships  
  • Athletic Department 
  • Borderlands Research Institute
  • Center for Big Bend Studies
  • Range Animal Science Center and the Sul Ross Meat Market
  • Fine Arts Programs
  • Rio Grande Research Center

You Can Help
…Make a Difference

The students of Sul Ross State University are the seeds of tomorrow’s Texas. Funding from donors like you is the water that makes them grow. 

Thank you for considering a gift to the Sul Ross State University Foundation. Your support provides the university with the means to do more – offer more scholarships, conduct more research, and take advantage of academic opportunities that might otherwise be missed.

It’s easy to help: Make a one time donation, or schedule a recurring donation, using a credit card or direct debit from your bank account.

You can make a difference