December 18, 2020


The holidays have a funny way of putting things into perspective. Every year, temperatures drop, Christmas music takes over the local stations and my daughters openly deliberate over what they should ask from Santa. At my age, I find my greatest holiday joy in the opportunity to spend quality time with my family and celebrate the many blessings bestowed upon me. More than a season of cheer, this should be a season of gratitude. And I am forever grateful for the people and communities God has put around me; the Aggie community is high among them.

It would seem that gratitude has been harder to come by this year, as 2020 has had its share of disheartening news stories. Even my beloved Aggieland could not escape the feelings of unease that took the world over faster than any virus could. And yet, I write to you not only with unending gratitude but also with its more vulnerable relative: hope.

I have hope because over and over I have seen this Aggie community made stronger by adversity. I have hope because we live by the same values that forged this great nation. Finally, I have hope because those who believe in this university’s mission have already given so much toward securing a brighter tomorrow.

Since 2012, Texas A&M University’s fundraising institutions have worked together toward one goal: to raise $4 billion during the Lead by Example campaign for Aggie students, faculty and staff by the end of 2020.

I cannot thank you enough for your part in this historic philanthropic effort. We could not have reached this goal without the combined effort of thousands of individual donors like you who believe in Texas A&M enough to invest in its future. More than creating amazing scholarships, the funds raised during the Lead by Example campaign will support every aspect of the Aggie experience, including facilities, student programs and transformational research for the state, nation and world.

The ripple effects of the Lead by Example campaign will reverberate throughout Aggieland for decades. As you gather with your loved ones during this holiday season, I challenge you to practice gratitude for all you have today and hold out hope for the future. On behalf of the Texas A&M Foundation, I promise you that our best days are yet to come.  

Thanks for all you do.

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


Highlights and Stories You'll Want to Read from 2020

Spirit Magazine

Through compelling stories and photography, Spirit celebrates unique individuals, the joy of giving back and the Aggie can-do spirit from a perspective that spans the entire campus. Read stories like this and more in the 2020 issues.

The Top 12 Stories of 2020

Our team covered more than XX stories in 2020 and we crunched the numbers to find the ones you liked the most! Check out our recap of stories from the history of the Aggie Barn to 5 things you might not have known about the Academic Building.

Maroon Magazine

Published biannually, Maroon highlights the many ways Texas A&M University students, former students and faculty are selflessly serving, impacting their local, national and global communities, and uniquely contributing to Aggieland.