November 7, 2017

Ryan Workman ’99 credits the Corps of Cadets, specifically Squadron “Outlaw” 8, and his time at Texas A&M University with shaping him into the best Air Force officer, pilot, husband and dad that he can be. Now, Workman is using his life insurance policy to aid cadets in need by endowing a Sul Ross Corps Scholarship, the same scholarship he received as a student.

Ryan Workman '99 and wife, Charity ’97, decided the best way to make a charitable gift to Texas A&M University was a life insurance gift. This planned gift will fund a Sul Ross Corps Scholarship, the same scholarship Ryan received as a student.

As a high school senior, Workman searched for a school that would help him achieve his dream of following in his grandfather's footsteps and serving in the Air Force. His first visit to Texas A&M was through the Spend the Night With the Corps program, which allows prospective students to experience what their college career would look like as a cadet on campus.

Once Workman witnessed how loyal cadets are to the university and learned about the traditions that founded Texas A&M, he was hooked. “After that one weekend in Aggieland, I knew this was the place,” he said. “I never even visited another school.”

Workman’s time in the Corps forced him to step outside of his comfort zone and challenge himself, something he considers an important lesson. But his experience as an undergraduate would have been vastly different had he not been awarded financial aid. Workman received a three-year Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps Scholarship in addition to a Sul Ross Scholarship, both of which were crucial to his enrollment and future career. After graduation, he commissioned into the Air Force, where he served as an active duty Air Force pilot for 11 years. He is now an instructor pilot with the Arkansas Air National Guard.

Named after Lawrence Sullivan Ross, former Governor of Texas and president of Texas A&M, Sul Ross Corps Scholarships help cadets in need of financial support. A $25,000 gift funds an endowment that provides a yearly stipend to one cadet for up to four years. “After receiving a Sul Ross Scholarship, I was always grateful for an ‘Old Ag’ allowing me to have the best education at Texas A&M,” said Workman. “Since then, I always thought about giving back.”

After deliberating with his wife, Charity ’97, over the best way to make a charitable gift to the university, the couple decided on a life insurance gift. From an early age, Workman’s father stressed the importance of life insurance and prompted Workman to start a life insurance policy after high school. Now, they are using that $30,000 life insurance policy to create a planned gift that will fund Sul Ross Scholarships for future cadets. Their gift supports the university’s Lead by Example campaign and advances the Corps of Cadets’ goal of providing every eligible cadet with scholarship support.

A life insurance gift is an effortless way to give back to Texas A&M. Just as life insurance can provide future lump sums to family members, it can also be used to benefit the university. Designating the Texas A&M Foundation as the partial beneficiary of a new or existing life insurance policy is as easy as completing a change of beneficiary form from your insurer. Additionally, the gift is revocable. If your circumstances change, the gift can change with them.

Workman hopes that his gift will allow cadets like himself to have similar opportunities and experiences. “Texas A&M taught me the importance of serving others and going out of your way to help those in need,” said Workman. “This small token may be the scholarship that puts a cadet over the top. It could be the deciding factor that encourages somebody to join the Corps and carry on the traditions we all love.”