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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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Mission Accomplished

Texas A&M University surpasses its historic $4 billion Lead by Example campaign goal.

Mission Accomplished

Texas A&M University surpasses its historic $4 billion Lead by Example campaign goal.

Nine years. 903,658 gifts. $4.25 billion raised.

As Texas A&M University concluded its Lead by Example campaign—an ambitious initiative to raise $4 billion for Aggieland by the end of 2020—former students and friends took the campaign above and beyond its goal by contributing $4.25 billion. This total encompasses all private gifts benefiting Texas A&M, including gifts from individuals, foundations and corporations through the Texas A&M Foundation, The Association of Former Students, the 12th Man Foundation, the George & Barbara Bush Foundation, and the Texas Aggie Corps of Cadets Association.

While the campaign began on Jan. 1, 2012, it was publicly announced in November 2015 to the tune of more than $1.67 billion already raised. A joint effort between Texas A&M’s fundraising partners, it represents the largest capital campaign by a Texas public university and is one of the largest higher education efforts nationally. Despite an unprecedented economic crisis occurring at its tail end, the Aggie community worked together to cross the finish line and contributed more than $476 million in 2020 alone.

During the campaign, gifts ranging in size from a few dollars to the multimillions came from first-time donors and longtime friends. These individuals included not only former students but also those drawn to Aggieland for its values, culture and academic strengths. From supporting scholarships and research to funding faculty chairs and capital construction, donors gave to the university to promote their passions.

Campaign funds have enhanced Texas A&M’s mission of education, research and service. Contributions are enabling Aggies to learn collaboratively, study globally, and work alongside a more diverse and accomplished student body and faculty. Funds raised for research, innovation and academic programs are helping faculty and staff develop new ways to contribute to the public good, in keeping with Texas A&M’s land-grant mission. Gifts to renovate, enhance and create campus facilities have ensured that students and faculty learn and work in cutting-edge spaces, with technology that empowers them to succeed.

So, as Texas A&M looks beyond this campaign and our campus continues its 145th year, we can say this with certainty: Aggies have four billion reasons to believe in tomorrow. We cannot thank every contributor enough not only for your investment in Texas A&M but also for the high standard of generosity you have set. We attribute Aggieland’s bright future to your enduring support.

 

CAMPAIGN FINANCIAL SUMMARY (Jan. 1, 2012 to Dec. 31, 2020)

 

gifts made by individual, corporate and foundation donors
contributed by current and former Texas A&M faculty and staff
committed through individuals' estate plans
new endowed scholarships and graduate fellowships
new endowed faculty chairs, professorships and fellowships
other endowments supporting campus programs

Who Gave to the Campaign?

What Did Campaign Gifts Support?

Aggies Demonstrate Selfless Service

During the Lead by Example campaign, Aggie students dedicated approximately 12 million reported volunteer hours equating to a total monetary value of nearly $280 million. While this total is not reflected in the campaign’s $4 billion goal, it does demonstrate the difference Aggies make every day and the enormous value that students bring to their communities through compassion and service.

These totals were achieved using survey data collected from the entire Texas A&M student body, including answers directly related to student service hours and involvement in key leadership organizations (such as The Big Event, Carpool and organizations in the Memorial Student Center). To calculate the dollar value of students’ volunteer hours, we used a number published by Independent Sector that posited the national average value of volunteer time as $25.43 per hour.

Texas A&M Foundation

Building a brighter future for Texas A&M University.

The Power of Planned Giving:

The Texas A&M Foundation exceeded its goal to raise $1 billion in planned gifts by raising $1.1 billion. These gifts, which accounted for 31% of the total funds raised by the Foundation during the campaign, will play a crucial role in providing for the future of Texas A&M’s students, faculty, staff and programs. During the campaign, the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, the College of Engineering, and the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences received the highest commitments in planned gifts.

Scholarship Support:

During the campaign, donors generously funded 4,499 scholarships—2,677 of which are endowed and will provide perpetual support to Aggie students. Scholarships result in a return on investment like no other by opening doors to higher education, which creates socioeconomic mobility and the leaders of tomorrow.

Loyal Friends:

In 1998, the Texas A&M Foundation Board of Trustees established its highest honor, the Sterling C. Evans Medal, to recognize individuals and organizations that have offered significant philanthropic support, service and volunteer leadership to help Texas A&M remain among the world’s top public higher education institutions. The award has been bestowed on 50 individuals and foundations since its inception, and these recipients remain some of Aggieland’s most stalwart supporters and friends. During the Lead by Example campaign, this generous group contributed $397 million to Aggieland in support of a wide range of campus areas.

New Academic Programs During the Campaign:

  • 44 Farms International Beef Cattle Academy
  • Aggie ACHIEVE Program
  • Albritton Center for Grand Strategy
  • Brockman Scholars Program
  • Don and Ellie Knauss Veteran Resource & Support Center Naming
  • EnMed (Engineering Medicine) Program
  • Hagler Institute for Advanced Study
  • Halliburton Engineering Global Program
  • Haynes Scholars Program
  • J. Mike Walker ’66 Department of Mechanical Engineering Naming
  • James Benjamin Department of Accounting Naming
  • McFerrin Center for Entrepreneurship Naming
  • Norman Borlaug Endowed Research Scholars Program
  • Petroleum Ventures Program
  • Reynolds and Reynolds Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Veterans
  • Reynolds and Reynolds Sales Leadership Institute
  • Science Leadership Scholars Program
  • Washington D.C. Teaching Site for the Bush School of Government and Public Service
  • Wm Michael Barnes ’64 Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering Naming
  • Zachry Leadership Program

Largest Corporate Donor:

  • The largest corporate donor during the campaign was the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo, with $37 million contributed in support of scholarships.

From Aggies Everywhere:

  • A&M Clubs gave more than $7.5 million during the campaign and funded 32 new endowments in support of scholarships and student activities. Aggie Moms’ Clubs gave more than $5.8 million and funded 20 new endowments supporting scholarships and student activities.
  • Zachry Engineering Education Complex

    The August 2018 unveiling of the Zachry Engineering Education Complex, the largest academic building on campus, signaled an impressive moment for the future of Texas A&M engineering education. The completion of the four-year, $228 million project came with the help of more than $75 million in private donations.
  • The Leach Teaching Gardens

    The Gardens at Texas A&M University is a planned transformation of 27 acres on West Campus into a public teaching garden. Thanks to the generosity of Amy ’84 and Tim Leach ’82, phase I of the project, called the Leach Teaching Gardens, opened in 2018. These first 7 acres feature 21 themed sections, an outdoor classroom, event lawn, demonstration area, and a climate-controlled pavilion used for events and educational classes.
  • Music Activities Center

    After a successful fundraising campaign that raised more than $21 million, the John D. White ’70 – Robert L. Walker ’58 Music Activities Center opened in August 2019 after 20 months of construction. The 70,000-square-foot building provides a new home to the more than 1,300 Aggies who are part of Texas A&M’s orchestras, choral groups and bands.
  • The Quad Renovation

    During the campaign, the Corps of Cadets completed an overhaul of the Quad's dorms and added four Leadership Learning Centers. These 17,000-square-foot facilities provide cadets with state-of-the-art features, including group and individual study rooms, computer labs, tutoring rooms, lounges and even a Starbucks. The centers were funded through more than $20 million in private donations.
  • Hildebrand Equine Complex

    Thanks to more than $32 million from donors, construction of the Thomas G. Hildebrand DVM ’56 Equine Complex was completed in 2014. Since then, the complex has functioned as the on-campus home for equine teaching, research and outreach and provided a dedicated space for Texas A&M’s elite Equestrian Team.
  • Clinic and Education Building

    The College of Dentistry raised more than $10 million to construct a new nine-story, 167,000-square-foot Clinic and Education Building in Dallas. With the building’s grand opening in January 2020, the dental school can expand enrollment, treat more patients and address the need for more dental health professionals across the state.

In Their Words: HEAR FROM CAMPAIGN LEADERSHIP

 

“$4 billion is an impressive number, but it is the positive human impact that speaks greater volumes. The Lead by Example campaign shattered records because countless Aggies and friends of Texas A&M University believe in its mission. They believe in our university’s humble beginnings, our values, and Texas A&M’s ability to create an exponentially brighter future for our state, nation and world. This campaign proves that the Aggie Spirit and Texas A&M’s mission to educate principled leaders of character is still alive and well."

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

“During the Lead by Example campaign, Aggies proved once again that they love their university and are beyond generous. By meeting and exceeding the campaign goal, Texas A&M can continue to lead the nation in research, academics and selfless service for a long time.”

Debbie ’76 and John Bethancourt ’74
Lead by Example Campaign Co-Chairs

“No university in the world creates such passion and love for our university and each other as Texas A&M does. That is why we give—so all our students can feel what we feel.”

John Sharp '72
Chancellor, The Texas A&M University System

The Association of Former Students

Engaging and strengthening the Aggie Network.

Throughout the Lead by Example campaign, no single organization or entity engaged more Aggies in support of Texas A&M than The Association of Former Students, touching almost every student on the Texas A&M campus through the funding of scholarships and academic programs, traditions and student activities, and recognition of former students, current students, faculty and staff.

From 2012 through 2020, more than 140,000 members of the Aggie Network made gifts to The Association totaling $143 million. These gifts provided support for university-directed programs through the Annual Fund and also funded endowments providing perpetual Annual Fund support, as well as Endowed Aggie Ring Scholarships.

The Annual Fund, the bedrock of The Association’s support to Texas A&M, grew substantially during the campaign in both donors and dollars. In 2012, 43,341 donors contributed $7.68 million to the Annual Fund. In 2020, during a global pandemic that devastated the economy, 58,759 Aggies contributed $10.43 million. Most remarkably, the average gift in both 2019 and 2020 was only $14 per month, showcasing the incredible power small gifts can make to Texas A&M. These gifts provided scholarships; made emergency funds available to students facing unplanned financial hardship; subsidized the Aggie Band's travel to away games; supported diversity initiatives; and provided support to the Ross Volunteers, Fish Drill Team, Yell Leaders, Fish Camp, Muster Committee and many other student organizations. 

A total of 422 Endowed Century Club gifts were made during the campaign, increasing the total number of endowments by 62%, while 138 Endowed Aggie Ring Scholarships were also established. These scholarships, combined with pass-through gifts, provided Aggie rings to 1,200 students who otherwise might not have been able to purchase one. 

Alfredo Alvarez '21 received financial assistance from The Association after his mother passed away and his father was injured in a car accident.

In addition to direct funding, gifts to The Association also provided support to Association programs such as Ring Day, Class Reunions and Class Newsletters, A&M Club activities, Traveling Aggies and the Distinguished Alumni Gala. Considering the services, programs and funding provided by The Association, the total impact of The Association topped $15.3 million in 2019, an increase over the $10 million impact provided in 2012.

In 2019, The Association featured Alfredo Alvarez ’21 in one of its impact videos. Alfredo received financial assistance from The Association after his mother passed away and his father was injured in a car accident, greatly altering his family’s financial situation. The financial assistance provided was critical to allowing Alfredo to stay in school and remain a part of the Aggie Band, but it provided something even more important: hope. 

“To The Association of Former Students, I don’t know how I can thank you enough for giving me hope that for anything that goes wrong, something good will happen out of it,” Alfredo said in a letter to The Association in 2019.

The Association thanks Aggies everywhere for their role in providing support to thousands of students like Alfredo during the Lead by Example campaign.

In Their Words: HEAR FROM CAMPAIGN LEADERSHIP

 

“The Lead by Example campaign has engaged more Aggies in support of Texas A&M than ever before in history. The loyal generosity of the Aggie Network throughout the campaign continues to make a difference for Texas A&M and for so many things we all hold dear as Aggies.”

Porter Garner III ’79
President & CEO, The Association of Former Students

“The achievement of the $4 billion goal is a testament to the tenacity of Aggies and their desire to strive for excellence. The Lead by Example campaign has elevated Texas A&M to the upper echelon of our nation’s universities. Support raised through the campaign has helped shape the character of the university as a developer of 21st-century leaders and empowered Texas A&M to unequivocally state that it is here for us today and for all future generations of Aggies.”

SuSu and Mark Fischer ’72
Lead by Example Campaign Co-Chairs

12th Man Foundation

Enhancing championship athletic programs.

Since the kickoff of the Lead by Example campaign in 2012, thousands of generous donors contributed more than $350 million to the 12th Man Foundation’s Annual Fund. These donations, which consist of philanthropic gifts as well as contributions tied to season ticket purchases, are vital to the organization’s mission of funding scholarships, programs and facilities in support of championship athletics at Texas A&M.

Facility Enhancements

Donors to the 12th Man Foundation went above and beyond by committing more than $283 million toward facility projects for Texas A&M Athletics since 2012. First and foremost was the completion and grand opening of the redeveloped Kyle Field. The two-year $485 million project, which concluded in time for Aggie football’s 2015 season opener, represented the most extensive redevelopment of a collegiate athletic facility in history. The result, thanks to more than $220 million in gifts from 12th Man Foundation donors, is the finest college football stadium in the country and one that is considered the crown jewel of collegiate athletics.

Inside the Cox-McFerrin Center for Aggie Basketball, 12th Man Foundation donors funded approximately $5 million in facility projects for both men’s basketball—the Shannon ’86 and Wayne ’85 Roberts Basketball Student-Athlete Center—and women’s basketball—the Barbara C. Barnett Women’s Basketball Student-Athlete Center. Donors also funded the Linda & Dennis Clark ’68 Football Performance Nutrition addition to the expanded Becky ’76 and Monty ’77 Davis Football Player Development Center with more than $7 million in donations. Additionally, construction is ongoing for a new home for Texas A&M’s swimming and diving programs made possible by more than $6 million in donations, including a lead gift from Anne and Henry “Hank” Paup ’70.

In 2019, Texas A&M celebrated the official opening of the $28.6 million Davis Diamond for softball and the $39.6 million E.B. Cushing Stadium for outdoor track and field, two of the finest venues in the nation for their respective sports that came to fruition due to more than $18 million in donor support.

  • Kyle Field

    The two-year, $485 million project represented the most extensive redevelopment of a collegiate athletic facility in history.
  • E.B. Cushing Stadium

    The $39.6 million E.B. Cushing Stadium for outdoor track and field is one of the finest venues in the nation for sports.
  • Davis Diamond

    In 2019, Texas A&M celebrated the official opening of the $28.6 million Davis Diamond for Aggie women's softball.
  • Davis Football Player Development Center

    The expanded Becky ’76 and Monty ’77 Davis Football Player Development Center was completed with more than $7 million in donations.
  • Roberts Student-Athlete Center

    12th Man Foundation donors funded approximately $5 million in facility projects for both men’s and women’s basketball.
  • Barbara C. Barnett Student-Athlete Center

    The women’s basketball student-athlete center was completed thanks to support from 12th Man Foundation donors.
  • Swimming & Diving Facility

    Construction is ongoing for a new home for Texas A&M’s swimming and diving programs made possible by more than $6 million in donations.

The 1922 Fund

In July 2015, the 12th Man Foundation launched the 1922 Fund to endow scholarships for all Texas A&M student-athletes. Aggie Athletics was changed forever on Jan. 2, 1922, when E. King Gill ’24 was called from the crowd to put on a uniform and stand ready for his team. It was a transformative moment for Texas A&M, and Gill’s actions still resonate as new generations of Aggies stand in support of their teams.

Following in Gill’s footsteps, 12th Man Foundation donors are making an indelible impact on Texas A&M Athletics with their transformative contributions to the 1922 Fund. Donors committed $2.7 million to the 1922 Fund in its inaugural year and, as of Dec. 31, 2020, the fund balance has grown to approximately $14 million. This generous philanthropic support of scholarship endowments represents a direct investment in the long-term viability and success of Texas A&M Athletics.

In Their Words: HEAR FROM CAMPAIGN LEADERSHIP

 

“The Lead by Example campaign has been transformational for Texas A&M and our athletics program. The significant investment by donors has changed the landscape for Texas A&M Athletics and allowed us to attract top-quality student-athletes and leaders in coaching and administration. The partnership the 12th Man Foundation shares with The Association of Former Students and the Texas A&M Foundation is one that helps elevate Texas A&M to be a leader in all areas of higher education. This represents a deep source of pride for me and Aggies everywhere.”

Travis Dabney ’96
President & CEO, 12th Man Foundation

“Aggies saw many opportunities to make the world better through gifts for Texas A&M programs during the campaign, and they continued to make the world better despite the difficult challenges our nation faced in 2020. Most thought $4 billion was an impossible goal, but Aggies always find a way to accomplish the impossible.”

Amy ’84 and Tim Leach ’82
Lead by Example Campaign Co-Chairs

Texas Aggie Corps of Cadets Association

Supporting the “Keepers of the Spirit.”

The Texas Aggie Corps of Cadets Association (CCA) was founded in 1993 to further the recruitment and retention of high-caliber cadets who possess intrinsic qualities that permanently secure the Corps of Cadets’ time-honored legacy at Texas A&M University. CCA’s sole and unwavering mission to “promote, preserve and perpetuate the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets by supporting former, current and future Cadets” is instrumental in upholding the Corps as Texas A&M’s “Keepers of the Spirit.”

Since inception, the CCA has provided millions of dollars in support to the Corps. CCA’s funding reaches every cadet, every year, through facilitating equipment needs and sponsoring activities and leadership programming that build camaraderie.

Support for incoming cadets begins with Freshman Orientation Week through supplying physical training gear and continues each year until the senior cadet celebrates his or her time in the Corps at Senior Dining Out, a formal military-style banquet hosted annually by the CCA. Upon a cadet’s graduation, the CCA has invested a minimum of $220 in each cadet. In most cases, this amount is substantially increased with a cadet’s participation in the numerous annually sponsored CCA programs. 

During the Lead by Example campaign, CCA’s funding impacted 9,400 cadets through direct support and sponsorships totaling $13.3 million and more than 50 programs, including: 11 Corps Athletic Teams, Ol’ Army Boot Dance, Fish Drill Team, the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band, ROTC detachments, Parsons Mounted Cavalry, and the addition of a CCA store on the Quad for cadets to obtain ribbons and insignia at their convenience. This was made possible by more than 9,000 former cadet donors. Additionally, $290,500 was directed to cadet recruiting during the campaign.

"The impact the CCA made for the Corps of Cadets during the campaign was monumental,” said Andrew Christjoy ’21, the 2020-2021 Deputy Corps Commander. “On top of its continued financial assistance in various formats, the CCA’s presence around the Quad is a huge support for all of us.  Additionally, the support the CCA provides for recruiting means that we continue to enjoy a steady volume of high-caliber cadets.”

While the CCA’s financial impact is essential to the Corps, numerous opportunities for former cadets to stay connected and foster camaraderie with current cadets further strengthen the Corps experience across multiple generations. The CCA’s annual Rally to the Guidons event consistently reunites more than 650 former cadets to form up and fall in behind the Corps for march-in at a home football game.  Most notably, the CCA has had the distinct privilege of hosting the Corps of Cadets Hall of Honor Gala for the past four years. The annual black-tie event pays tribute to former cadets who have represented Texas A&M, the public/private sector or the nation in a prestigious manner and who possess the values upon which the Corps was founded.

The CCA is proud to offer its support and will continue to be a driving force for cadets for years to come, thanks to loyal members who know that the “Corps experience…lasts a lifetime!”

George & Barbara Bush Foundation

Preserving the Bush legacy of service.

The George & Barbara Bush Foundation is dedicated to preserving the legacies of President and Mrs. Bush by supporting the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum and The Bush School of Government and Public Service. As one of Texas A&M’s affiliated fundraising entities, the organization raised more than $28 million for the Lead by Example campaign through contributions from more than 25,500 donors.

Contact:

Dunae Reader '15

Assistant Director of Marketing & Communications/Spirit Editor/Maroon Co-Editor