Also In This Issue



We regret several errors in former president Bowen Loftin’s paragraph in the spring issue of Spirit. Loftin served as interim president, not acting president. The term “acting” is reserved for use when the person replaced is only temporarily out of office. The paragraph also incorrectly stated that racial tension at the University of Missouri influenced his resignation from that school. While his transition from the Missouri chancellorship occurred at the height of campus protests, it was not influenced by them. Last, his current role is in developing national security-related research capabilities and opportunities for the University of Missouri-Columbia and other campuses of the University of Missouri System, not in overseeing the development and renovation of research facilities.

We want to hear from you!

Click here to provide us with your feedback on the summer 2016 issue of Spirit magazine!

Dome Sunrise by Mark Stewart '74.

Spirit Did Me Proud

I think the new look of Spirit magazine is nothing short of outstanding! I particularly liked the very different cover. 

I was happy that my artwork was published in the spring issue since my dad endowed three scholarships in the College of Architecture, and I am now the family representative for those scholarships. I also do what I can to give back. I have participated in Coach’s Night in Houston during the past several years, where I sell small prints of Century Tree and other Aggie images. All of the proceeds go to the Houston A&M Club for student scholarships. It’s not a big gift, but it allows me to contribute.

I have six grown children, two of whom graduated from Texas A&M, but I really can’t complain—all six have college degrees and some are still working on advanced degrees (one through Texas A&M’s Bush School). With this many children and the variety of college choices that were made, I now receive several alumni magazines. None of them begin to compare to the visual feast that Spirit presents. The entire presentation made by Spirit is one Texas A&M and its alumni can be proud of! It’s a work of literary and visual art. Thanks for letting me be included in the inaugural new look. You did me proud.

Mark Stewart ’74
Houston, Texas

Calculating Costs

Thanks for putting out such a great magazine. I’m writing about the graphs in the fall 2015 edition, particularly the “Increasing Student Burden” chart. It would be informative to also include the university’s budget in real dollars so that readers could understand how much the budget is increasing relative to how much funding is decreasing from the state.

One can’t help but compare the increasing student burden with increased capital being spent on new buildings and the like. How much is necessary and how much is being added for show, needlessly burdening students with debt? I don’t think this issue is unique to Texas A&M, but it would certainly be refreshing to see a school honestly evaluate costs and benefits to students and not just the university, as the two are not 100 percent aligned.

Thank you again for your wonderful work. I am humbled and filled with pride to belong to such an amazing group each time I read Spirit!

Jada Tullos Anderson ’00
Greensboro, North Carolina

Editor’s note: The following letter and poem were received in response to an email sent to the classes of 1958 to 1962 in search of information about the Corps of Cadets etiquette pamphlet featured in this issue’s Time Capsule.

Bobby R. Smith '58 during his senior year.

The Other Bob Smith

Your email reminded me of a story during my time at Texas A&M. I once received a letter in my mailbox with no address except to "Bob Smith at Texas A&M, College Station, Texas." It was pink and sure smelled good, so I read it. It sure was a nice letter, but not far into it, I realized I had no clue as to who the girl was.

I gave the letter to my roommate and asked him to tell me if he thought I knew the girl. He said ‘hell no,’ but when I asked for the letter back, he told me that others were reading it! Several days later, I finally got it back with coffee and Coke stains. I put it back in the envelope and ran over to the post office, where I told the postman that it was not mine (all we had in those days was a box with a number on it). He said there was another Bob Smith and put the letter in his box.

A day later, a big guy approached me and asked if I was Bob Smith. I said I was, and he started to hit me. When I asked why he was so mad, he said that I had read his letter and that he would only accept my regrets if I would change my name to “Bobby R. Smith.”  

I have been called by that name since my freshman year in 1954.

Bobby R. Smith ’58
Houston, Texas

Fish Life

Editor’s note: Albert Ormsby Jr. ’59, now living in Folsom, California, wrote this poem about the Fish experience in the Corps of Cadets during his sophomore year in 1957.

A he fish has no name, just fish so and so is his name,
All freshmen are the same.
They hit a brace and knock buzz,
And are crowned on top with peachy fuzz.

He is looked down upon every side,
As if he is being taken for ride.
And what a ride it’s sure to be
Yes sir, no sir, you mean me?
Brass shined, clothes clean, open door,
All this and so much more.
From sunrise to sunset,
It’s, “Fish Jones, haven’t you caught on yet?!”
Pride, loyalty and bonds that last,
A part of all that has passed.
This is an Aggie in the making,
The first lessons are in the taking.
Only the strong will survive
To keep the Aggie spirit alive!
And through it all, the strong survive
To make it hell for Fish Jones next year five.

Giving Back

I love reading about Ags who are giving back. In particular, their stories and motivation for giving, and how that giving benefits students, faculty, research and programs at Texas A&M. I want Texas A&M to be world-class in everything and love reading stories that motivate us to be great. The Spirit is inspiring!

Wayne Roberts  ’85
Austin, Texas

Research with Ramifications

I was pleased to see mention in the spring issue of Spirit of Professor Darryl de Ruiter and his important work with the discovery and study of Homo naledi in South Africa. I was privileged to attend the 2016 annual meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists, where Dr. de Ruiter discussed the research and moderated a vigorous Q&A session in front of a large, packed room. It’s great to see Texas A&M scholars taking the lead in scientific work with such important ramifications.

Thom Lemmons
Senior Editor
Texas A&M University Press
College Station, Texas

Longhorn Wannabe

I married a family of longhorn wannabe's (my husband graduated from East Texas State University, but didn't pay some fines, so when he actually got his diploma, it read Texas A&M Commerce. It’s a glorious thing!). Anyway, back to the longhorn wannabe's...I love getting Spirit in the mail and proudly reading it and displaying on the coffee table. Thanks for keeping us Ol' Ags connected!

Stephanie Long ’95
Richardson, Texas

The Adair Legacy

The Adairs have displayed an awesome show of support for Texas A&M University. I worked with Tom in his role as faculty athletics representative at Texas A&M. His passion for student-athlete welfare was evident then and still shines brightly in his generosity to the university he loves.

Milton Overton
Tallahassee, Florida


Congratulations, Tyson! You are following in the great footsteps of our classmate, Eddie Joe Davis ’67. You will do us proud.

Mickey Batsell ’67
Georgetown, Texas

Outstanding President

Tyson and his family are outstanding and will be a great asset for Texas A&M University.

Spencer Bulger ’60
San Antonio, Texas


The spring Trailblazers article about Essentium Materials was a nice write-up and a very inspiring story (coming from a T-Sip in Austin). This is a very promising field and nice commercial opportunity. Gig ’em!

Andrew Stockton
Austin, Texas

Time Capsule

I LOVED the feature on the older buildings on campus in the spring issue of Spirit. The details on those 1930’s buildings are fantastic and it was interesting learning more about their origin.

Ronald Roberts ’90
Tomball, Texas

In the Face of Opposition

While the Memorial Student Center was completed under President Loftin’s tenure, the redevelopment project actually started under the leadership of President Elsa Murano. She faced stiff opposition from students regarding an additional fee to support the renovation, in addition to making the decision to completely close the campus treasure during the duration of the project.


Howdy, Mr. President

I really enjoyed the president’s timeline in the spring issue of Spirit. It gave great details into the changes and foresight Texas A&M has experienced.

Sheryl Kendrick ’83
Abilene, Texas

The Front Porch

Jean Vilas, who lives in College Station, is a friend of mine and the granddaughter of Thomas O. Walton, former president of Texas A&M. When I wrote to her telling her that I enjoyed reading about her grandfather in the spring 2016 issue of Spirit, she responded: “Thanks for your note. My grandfather loved Texas A&M. He and my grandmother used to invite "their boys" over on Sunday afternoon for lemonade and ice tea on the front porch. I think that’s where their two daughters met their future husbands!”

John C. Akard ’54
Houston, Texas

It Took Me Back

I was searching through Google recently and came across the article on Professor McDermott in summer 2014 Spirit. I was blessed to be one of his students 20 years ago. The article captured the wonder and joy we all experienced when he lectured. I miss McDermott in the classroom raving, laughing and smelling like his pipe. He always walked out his lectures wearing a suit covered in the multicolored chalk he used while teaching, like a paint-smeared Van Gogh. The article was excellently written.

Thanks for taking me back!

Robert Carpenter ’94 ’96
Lewisville, Texas