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Tyson Voelkel ’96, Texas A&M Foundation President and CEO

Leadership transcends mere roles, embodying a profound privilege and a vast responsibility. My journey from being a cadet in the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band to leading teams across the spectrums of combat, commerce and academia speaks volumes of the unique educational experience that is Texas A&M University. Amidst traditions, our core values and the wisdom of mentors, my leadership ethos was solidified. Reflecting on my formative years as a fish in the Corps of Cadets, I recall the daunting challenges. Yet, it was the encouragement from peers and family, alongside the rigorous Corps experience and the opportunity to later serve as Commander, that transformed those trials into invaluable lessons of service, leadership and authentic character.

The essence of leadership, as I’ve come to embrace, centers on the privilege to serve and uplift those you lead. It’s about creating an environment where resilience and optimism are not just encouraged but embodied, reminding us all that adversity is but a prelude to growth. This mindset, tempered in the Corps’ crucible, equipped me and countless others over the decades to navigate with clarity and courage, seek assistance when needed and lead with conviction whether on the battlefield or in the boardroom.

Our collective success at the Texas A&M Foundation mirrors a shared dedication to leadership, excellence, integrity and purpose. We’ve elevated the university’s endowment beyond $2.8 billion and now manage assets surpassing $3.3 billion. Yet, our biggest measure of success rises above these figures, reflecting instead in the enriched lives and brightened futures of those we serve within the Aggie community. Central to our work ethic at the Foundation is a steadfast commitment to selfless service and a culture where humility, continuous learning and empowerment are foundational as we aim to position our organization among the most trusted philanthropies in higher education. Our mission—building a brighter future, one relationship at a time—motivates us toward personal excellence and impactful living. We strive always to be elite but never elitist.

Leadership, as I’ve learned, is fundamentally about effecting positive change. It’s the daily commitment to mission fulfillment, informed by lessons of humility, followership and merit. It’s having the grace to shoulder responsibility during setbacks and knowing when to credit and celebrate achievements. My journey has revealed that leadership is not merely a destination but a perpetual voyage of growth, challenge and service. I am deeply thankful for every lesson.

As you read this edition of Spirit, and particularly the leadership Q&A with other former Corps Commanders, I hope it reinforces your love of what Texas A&M stands for and our collective ability to contribute to a brighter future by embracing the Aggie core values in our own journeys as leaders and followers. Ultimately, the legacy of a leader or follower is not defined by the titles we hold but by the indelible impact we imprint on the lives of others.

Thanks for all you do.

Tyson Voelkel ’96
President & CEO
Texas A&M Foundation

  • Tyson Voelkel '96

  • President & Chief Executive Officer
  • Call: 979.690.2300

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