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Spirit is published three times per year by the Texas A&M Foundation, which manages major gifts and endowments for the benefit of academic programs, scholarships and student activities at Texas A&M University.

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Pres Perspective

A Legacy of Transformational Learning

By Michael K. Young

President, Texas A&M University
Texas A&M University President Michael K. Young believes in enhancing the Aggie education through transformational learning. 

Aggies hold higher education to a higher standard—one that inextricably links the creation and dissemination of knowledge to the capacity to transform lives. For 140 years, Texas A&M University has upheld a steadfast commitment to transformational learning as a means of improving real-life outcomes and charting tangible social impact.

Students arrive in College Station eager to learn, compelled to ask tough questions and to question even the most airtight answers. Through immersive educational activities—living learning communities, study abroad, research projects, capstone experiences and more—we channel those inclinations into something actionable and transformational. And in an academic culture where entrepreneurial and interdisciplinary programming is a priority, our students gain global perspective. They come to appreciate how, as part of a collective, they can serve a greater purpose. And without question, they enter the workforce as problem-solvers, equipped to leave the world better than they found it.

Transcending Textbook Answers

Teaching often takes place in more traditional classroom settings. Learning—especially transformational learning—happens in the field and in the lab, across all corners of campus and halfway across the globe.

Living Learning Communities

Texas A&M’s living learning communities invite students to explore the intersection of academic, societal and cultural interests outside of the classroom, facilitating bonds between like-minded Aggies and shaping equal parts scholars and citizens of substance. Some examples include:

  • The Corps of Cadets: the oldest student organization at Texas A&M, steeped in tradition and leadership.
  • FOCUS: a first-year foundation-building program centered on personal growth and student maturation.
  • Leadership (LC3): an award-winning academic interest group designed to stretch students in the areas of self-awareness, social justice and service.
Study abroad experiences provide transformational learning opportunities for more than 4,000 Aggies each year. The majority of students receive academic credit for their time overseas.

Study Abroad Programs

More than 4,000 Aggies live in 100-plus countries each year through study abroad programs spanning nearly every continent. Texas A&M also ranks third nationally for students receiving academic credit for studying abroad. Whether for a short visit, a service trip or a semester away, stepping outside of Aggieland affords students new perspectives and prepares them to more effectively—and more compassionately—lead in today’s global society.

Purpose-Driven Research Opportunities  

Texas A&M is home to some of the brightest educators and researchers in the world—Nobel Laureates, Fulbright Scholars, Wolf Prize recipients and more—who are pioneering developments and producing measurable change. Students have the opportunity to work directly alongside these esteemed faculty, participating in cutting-edge research that solves the most pressing grand global challenges of our time—from fighting hunger and poverty in the developing world, to leading premarket research on 3-D printing for drug manufacturing, to accelerating the development and deployment of energy derived from a broad variety of sources.

Entrepreneurial Programming

From award-winning student business accelerators that double as job creation programs to inventive, 48-hour intensive challenges, Texas A&M curates entrepreneurial programming that teaches students about value creation. These programs enhance workforce preparedness, helping Aggies distinguish themselves in the job market and launch high-paying, highly rewarding careers. Newsweek recently ranked Texas A&M among the top 10 public schools in the nation for mid-career earning potential, and The Wall Street Journal recognized Aggie graduates among the most highly rated by recruiters.

Collectively, these are the education-in-action experiences that help define and differentiate Aggies, nurturing them into leaders of consequence and societal contributors.

Learning for the Future

Texas A&M’s reputation as one of the top academic and research universities in the nation has been forged through transformational research and learning, intertwined with values-based leadership development.

Year after year, we continue to deliver transformative intellectual experiences to a broad spectrum of the state’s young minds. And day in and day out, Aggies uncover new ways to keep Texas, the nation and the world safer, smarter and healthier.

Looking ahead to the future of this great university, we will commit additional resources to transformational student experiences. With your help, we plan to endow focused learning communities that keep students progressing toward advanced degrees. We will also look to infuse entrepreneurship and a start-up mentality throughout our undergraduate and graduate majors, allowing students to practice their learned skills in a meaningful way through real-world application.

We will reach those goals, thanks to you. Your contributions are the engine behind so much student enrichment. You are helping the university cultivate meaningful connections and unlock new opportunities for learning, discovery and impact. Your continued support of our Lead by Example comprehensive campaign will offer others the chance to experience and benefit from a world-class Texas A&M education.

Thanks and Gig ’em!