Not just any headquarters would do for one of the nation's leading college equestrian teams. So when billionaire Jeff Hildebrand and wife Mindy Hildebrand were considering a way to honor his father, Dr. Thomas Hildebrand, a 1956 graduate of veterinary medicine at Texas A&M, they focused on funding a world-class equine complex.
On Wednesday, the Hildebrands led ribbon cutting honors on the $32 million, state-of-the-art facility. The couple provided the lead gift for the Thomas G. Hildebrand, DVM '56 Equine Complex composed of an arena and barn facilities for the A&M women's equestrian team and a cross-country course for the A&M cross-country team, as well as classroom and office spaces for equine teaching, research and outreach.
The Hildebrand's daughter, Brittany Hildebrand, is a member of A&M's national championship equestrian team.
While both Jeff and Mindy are University of Texas graduates and Jeff is on the UT board of regents, the gift to A&M, Mindy explained, was prompted by their love of horses and their desire to honor Thomas Hildebrand at his alma mater.
Joining the Hildebrand family on the special day were a number of friends from Houston including Julie and Keith Williams, Lynette and Mark Cone, Mike Plank, Marian Langston, Joe Mandola and Carol and Dr. Tom Sawyer.
It was a monumental day for Texas A&M as the ribbon cutting was preceded by a groundbreaking on the $120 million Veterinary & Biomedical Education Complex, as reported in The Eagle.