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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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Also In This Issue

President's Post

We Asked Donors: Why Do You Give?

By Tyson Voelkel '96

President, Texas A&M Foundation
President Tyson Voelkel '96

If I’ve learned anything from my tenure as president of the Texas A&M Foundation, it’s that behind every gift is a donor, behind every donor is a story, and few places inspire amazing stories quite like Texas A&M University. Every year, tens of thousands of young people come to College Station to build upon this university’s everlasting spirit with their own individual passions and values. In turn, when I speak to one hundred donors, I hear one hundred unique reasons to support the vision of Texas A&M. It is humbling and inspiring and provides our team with the passion for purposeful philanthropy at Texas A&M.

Earlier this summer, we conducted a poll asking donors who have given to the Foundation during the Lead by Example campaign what inspired their gifts to Texas A&M. You can read a sampling of their answers—and the stories behind these gifts—in our campaign update. Reading their answers elicited a deep sense of Aggie pride, and I hope it will have the same effect on you. Taken on their own, each donor’s response tells a distinct story about Texas A&M’s individual impact. Taken together, the collected responses speak to the awe-inspiring scope of lives that have been shaped, enhanced and inspired by the Aggie Spirit.

You’d think, with an average of 14,000 gifts coming through the Foundation annually, that some of the reasons individuals give would start to sound repetitive. And yet, we hear new reasons every day. Some of my favorite responses from the poll, which really give a sense of the range of answers we received, include: 

  • I give because…
    • …Aggies help Aggies.
    • …I want to enable people through education.
    • …I know the values of the organization I’m contributing to.
    • …Texas A&M builds well-rounded citizens.
    • …money given to the university is well-managed and put to great use.

The list goes on, and every answer is as original and authentic as the next. If you’re inspired by any of the responses you read in our story, you can check out the Foundation’s social media channels for more “Why I Give” testimonials or watch the entire series online. It’s our hope that this series causes you to reflect on your own experiences at Texas A&M and your own reasons for giving. Remember: Your reason is as unique as you and no matter what it is, it’s important to us.

Thanks for all you do.