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A local to the Bryan-College Station area, Ivan Sanchez ’26 was first introduced to music by an elementary school teacher who hosted an afterschool guitar club. “It wasn’t much­­—we played the same chord over and over again—but that sparked my interest in music,” he said.

Today, the musically talented economics major can play the saxophone and vihuela, but it’s the violin that has captured his heart. As he works toward a career in real estate, we sat down with him to learn about his favorite student experiences, including his role as president of Aggieland Mariachi.

Get to know Ivan through a series of  “this or that”​ questions below!

Solo or Ensemble?


I love making music on my own, but there’s an indescribable feeling when I perform in a group. As members of Aggieland Mariachi, we are excited and proud to share not only our art but also Mexican culture with audiences through a variety of performances, from the annual Latinx Graduation Ceremony to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. We’ve been a tradition for 20 years, and it’s an honor to lead the group this year.

Midnight Yell or Game day?

Game day

Staying in or Going out?

Going out

I love being outside. My Friday nights generally consist of band rehearsals and performances. But on nights I’m not busy, I love to just stargaze and feel the breeze.

'Howdy" or "Gig 'em"?

"Gig 'em"

Morning band practice or Afternoon band practice?

Morning band practice

Our group practices twice a week. We don’t typically practice in the morning, but I always enjoy when we do. It’s almost magical. We’re all still waking up and it’s a nice, slow way to start the day. Some of my favorite songs to perform are “Si Nos Dejan” (“If They Let Us”) and “The Aggie War Hymn.”

Playlists or Albums?


Weekends or Weekdays?


My brothers come back to town on the weekends, and we all gather at my parents’ house. Sometimes, we’ll get our family’s mariachi band together and spend the weekend performing.

Black tie or Aggieland Mariachi uniform?

Aggieland Mariachi uniform

The Aggieland Mariachi uniform is a fun twist on traditional mariachi uniforms. Not only are they maroon instead of the traditional black, but they also feature a Texas A&M emblem as the centerpiece. When we go to performances, we’re easy to recognize; we’re known to some as the “maroon mariachi.”

Buy and hold property or Renovate and resell property?

Buy and hold property

Opportunity Cost Theory or Supply and Demand Theory?

Opportunity Cost Theory

Though I didn’t know it by name, opportunity cost—the impact of choosing one option instead of its alternative—was how I got interested in economics. I was at a pawn shop during lunch one day and discussed the opportunity cost of buying a game with the owner. He became my unofficial economics mentor after that!

First-Gen Dreams

As four-year awards, Regents’ Scholarships support first-generation students whose total family income is less than $40,000 per year. A $100,000 endowment permanently supports one student at a time by awarding them an annual scholarship of up to $5,000 per year. To aid their transition to college, Regents’ Scholars live on campus their freshman year, participate in a learning community, and have access to academic and social assistance programs.

Ivan Sanchez ’26 is passionate about music and inspired to give back to the Texas A&M community in the future, following in his donors’ footsteps.

Sanchez’s donors, Carol and Sim Lake III ’66, are enthusiastic about supporting scholarships. “My father, Sim Lake Jr. ’38, impressed upon me the benefits of graduating from Texas A&M—not only the education but also the values of duty and honor that are instilled in Aggies,” Sim said. “For that reason, my mother and I established a President’s Endowed Scholarship (PES) in his name. Carol and I later established another PES. But as a land-grant university, Texas A&M has a responsibility to educate students who might not qualify for a merit-based PES. A Regents’ Scholarship provided us with a great way to support first-generation students in Texas whose families do not have the resources to pay for college.”

Following in his donors’ footsteps, Sanchez also wants to give back to the Texas A&M community in the future. “I would not be where I am today without the inspiration and help of Aggies and mentors I’ve met along the way,” he said.

To support first-gen dreams through a Regents’ Scholarship, contact Al Pulliam ’87, assistant vice president for development, at the bottom of this page.

More About Regents' Scholarships

  • Al Pulliam '87

  • Assistant Vice President of Development
  • Scholarships
  • Call: 979.209.0867

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