September 5, 2022

Caleb Lewis ’25 discovered one of his life’s passions at age 4 when he commandeered a small plastic drum from his family’s Rock Band video game set. Little did the Round Rock, Texas, resident know that 15 years later, he’d be laying down the beat for a metal band, writing his own music—and finding a kindred spirit in Ken McClintock ’94, who shares the young Aggie’s love of both drumming and Texas A&M University.

Lewis’s path might never have crossed with McClintock and his wife, Michelle ’93, if not for the Texas A&M Foundation’s new Adopt a Scholar program. Launched during the 2021-22 academic year, this program creates meaningful donor-student relationships for current recipients of a President’s Endowed Scholarship, Foundation Excellence Award or Endowed Opportunity Award in which the originating donor has passed away. This unique program honors the late donors by continuing their legacy of generosity and support of Texas A&M students.

The Adopt a Scholar program also benefits donors who have included an endowed scholarship into their estate plans, like the McClintocks. “We enjoy the benefit of interacting with students while we’re still living,” Michelle said. “And it’s nice to be there for scholars who don’t have the opportunity to build a relationship with their donors. The Aggies receiving these scholarships are outstanding in everything they’ve accomplished.”

The McClintocks, who will fund two scholarships through their own planned gift, first met Lewis in person during a Foundation scholarship luncheon in fall 2021—and the three Aggies have stayed in touch ever since.

“The first meeting was pretty cool because I learned that Mr. McClintock was a drummer, and we had a lot of conversations about that,” Lewis shared. “Not a lot of people are drummers, so it was a nice coincidence that we ended up together. Mr. and Mrs. McClintock keep in touch often over text, letting me know that they are there for me if I have any questions or concerns.”

Lewis, who holds the H.W. McGoldrick President’s Endowed Scholarship, hopes to eventually invite the Katy, Texas, couple to hear his band perform at a future Houston gig. On the other side of the relationship, Ken plans to use his connections to assist the computer science major. “I’m hopeful that my connections can help Caleb with future internships and job opportunities,” Ken said. “Michelle and I plan to show him the power of the Aggie Network.”

A Feast of Aggie Support

It’s nice to have someone who’s already been there and done that and is looking back to help you.
Emily McGee '25

“Having Mr. and Mrs. Toler present during my time at Texas A&M means I have somebody who believes in me and is always looking out for my best interests,” McGee shared.

These types of conversations with students also enhance Bill’s involvement with Mays’ Deans Advisory Board and Melanie’s service on the School of Education and Human Development’s Dean’s Development Council and the Division of Student Affairs’ Development Council. “When we hear something in one of those development meetings, we have an easy source of validation because we can talk to Aggie students,” Bill said. “Or when, around the dinner table, these students start agreeing that there’s a certain issue that should be addressed, it gives us something to take back to the faculty or administration.”

Developing these types of relationships through the Adopt a Scholar program have given both McGee and Lewis a deeper appreciation of what it means to be an Aggie. “It’s meaningful to have a genuine connection with an adult figure,” McGee said. “It’s great to come to Texas A&M; we’re all college kids trying to figure it out together, and that’s really fun. But it’s also nice to have someone who’s already been there and done that and is looking back to help you.”

Interested in planning a future scholarship with your after-lifetime assets and building a relationship with bright students like Caleb and Emily? Contact our planned giving team at

Have you planned a gift in your estate to support a scholar after your lifetime but would like to mentor an Aggie scholar today? Please contact Marcy Ullmann ’86 below.