Gloria and Bruce Ingram. Don Anders photo
Philanthropist Bruce Ingram dies
San Marcos has lost one of its premier businessmen and Texas State, one of its most generous donors.
Bruce Ingram, founder of Ingram Readymix, passed away early on Christmas morning, family friends have confirmed.
The news came just as the latest edition of “Hillviews,” a Texas State publication, was delivered with a cover story about Bruce and Gloria Ingram Hall. Dedicated in November as the university’s new home for science and engineering, it is an integral part of the “Heart of Texas Innovation Corridor.”
The Ingrams have donated heavily to Texas State, including millions toward the establishment of Ingram Hall.
In addition to that and other gifts to the university, the couple gave $1.1 million to Central Texas Medical Center (CTMC) Foundation, who used the money to acquire the hospital’s second interventional cardiac catherization lab. Subsequently, CTMC established the Ingram Heart Center. The Ingrams were also honored by the CTMC Foundation at its 2015 Gala.
Texas State President Dr. Denise M. Trauth recalled the couple’s philanthropy. “Bruce and his wife Gloria Ingram have supported Texas State University for more than 30 years. In that time, they have made significant investments in the lives of our students and in the future of this university through their support of scholarships, endowments and construction,” she said.
“In November, we had the honor of gathering with Bruce and several generations of the Ingram family to dedicate our newest engineering and science building, Bruce and Gloria Ingram Hall, which will remain a constant reminder of the family’s compassion and generosity of spirit. The impact Bruce and Gloria Ingram have made on our students, our community and our academic programs truly cannot be measured. We send our deepest condolences to the Ingram family.”
Ingram founded Ingram Readymix Inc. in 1957 with “two trucks and one portable plant,” according to the company’s website. An early boost to the businesses’ success was providing concrete for parts of Interstate 35.
The company now has numerous plants in Central and South Texas and hundreds of employees.
In a 2002 profile by writer Bibb Underwood, Ingram’s demeanor was described as “more that of a favorite uncle than that of an astute businessman,” who had overcome personal tragedy early in life when he lost both of his parents within the span of two weeks.
After that, he and his brother were adopted by their father’s employer Ralph Ingram, owner of Acme Sand and Gravel in San Antonio. He “received no special favors from his adoptive father,” Underwood wrote. “He relates that he worked in the sand and gravel plants during the summers while his classmates and friends enjoyed recreational facilities such as Garner State Park.”
He graduated from San Antonio’s Texas Military Institute in 1948 and then attended Texas A&M. His college career was interrupted by the Korean War, during which time he served in the Navy, which put him, (wisely, in Underwood’s words) to work with the SeeBees construction unit.
He went to work for his adoptive father after his service, leaving after a couple of years in order to found his own business.
Underwood’s profile recalls that on the day he was to be married, Ingram traveled to Laredo to bid on a portion of I-35. “Mr. Watkins, the contractor, told me my bid was way too high, so I went home. As I was getting ready for my wedding, I got a call from him. He said. ‘You still want that job, boy?’ I said ‘yessir.’ He said, ‘Be on the job Monday morning.’ I said, ‘but I’m getting married today.’ He said, ‘Can’t you hear me, boy? You want that job, you be there Monday morning.’ The next day the newlyweds moved to Dilley and Bruce went to work Monday morning. “We never had a honeymoon,” Ingram told Underwood.
Despite the Underwood interview, the Ingrams shied away from publicity. Earlier this year, Gloria Ingram declined a new comprehensive story on the couple’s philanthropy.
Arrangements are with Pennington Funeral Home.
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