Menu

Spirit Archives

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.

View the full magazine archive

Also In This Issue

President's Post

A New Chapter

By Tyson Voelkel '96

President, Texas A&M Foundation

I write this letter with a sense of humility and pride as the first of many opportunities to share stories and insights about the amazing people, projects and passions that fuel the Texas A&M Foundation team. My wife Christi ’98 and I are honored to join the Foundation, and I am so proud to be its new leader. I want to thank Dr. and Mrs. Davis for their unwavering leadership and vision, and I welcome Dr. Davis’ presence and insights as he stays on our team over the next year.


I also want to thank all of you who wrote or called with welcomes as Christi and I began this new chapter. We are driven by a desire to contribute and believe that a meaningful life requires commitment and service. We learned firsthand through the life and passing of our 3-year-old daughter Lily in 2012 just how important philanthropy, research and interdisciplinary collaboration are to improving the future. Lily gave us such a powerful perspective and focus that we can’t help but walk each day with a sense of thanks for all that we have and all that we can do for others.

We believe that success starts with liking ourselves, liking what we do and liking whom we are doing it with—and I can imagine no organization more suited to satisfy those conditions than the Foundation. Here, we are presented with a world of opportunity to work with optimistic students, former students and friends; engage in meaningful discussions; and most importantly, connect with many people who are or will be the strategists, professionals and policymakers for our state, nation and world. 

I feel prepared for my role as president and will work tirelessly to promote the needs of our university. Protecting the integrity of our endowment and the fundamentals that have earned the Foundation a reputation for excellence is a top priority, as is continual improvement. Any organization that strives to be best-in-class must learn and evolve, and often changes originate from the observations and insights of those inside and outside its formal structure—therefore we always welcome your input.

When asked why I want this role, I respond with what is most important to me. 

I believe that America is worth fighting for and that education is the only societal lever we have that can truly change our economy, our security and our prosperity. The Foundation gives thousands of people a chance to make meaningful contributions to educational causes that have ripple effects across generations. The Foundation also provides the right vehicle to further our Aggie values, which I believe are required to ensure our children and their children enjoy a brighter future. 

Perhaps what I am most excited about as we start this chapter in our lives is the fact that my family will be surrounded by friends like you, who are exemplars of what is good about our world. I am eager for our daughters Eliana and Violet to meet amazing people who each share a piece of what makes Aggieland a transformational place that so many call home, and for them to understand why it is a place of great memories and even greater promise in so many lives and for our world. 

Thanks for all you do.