Virginia Cockrell and Ernest Cockrell Jr.

A student in one of the first petroleum engineering classes, Ernest Cockrell Jr. graduated with both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in 1936. He applied his education toward a successful career in the oil business — founding both an oil company, Producer’s Oil, and a drilling workover company.

Cockrell greatly valued his education at UT Austin and believed that great institutions of higher education are built on dedicated faculty and talented students. He and his wife, Virginia, left generous bequests to the university’s engineering program through their family foundation. They established the school’s largest endowments for undergraduate scholarships and graduate fellowships, as well as more than half of the school’s endowed faculty chairs. Additional contributions, made each year by The Cockrell Foundation, further strengthen the power of the endowments by providing continuous support to faculty and students — now and for generations to come.

In July 2007, the Board of Regents of The University of Texas System renamed the College of Engineering the Cockrell School of Engineering in honor of their generosity.

Texas Engineer Monogram