Four couples have committed $50,000 each to the Texas A&M Foundation in support of the Memorial Student Center (MSC) Renovation and Expansion Project.
The $200,000 donation, which was given in honor of former Texas A&M University Head Football Coach R.C. Slocum, will fund renovations to the MSC. In recognition of the gift, a pillar located in the Trisha and L.C. “Chaz” Neely ’62 12th Man Hall will bear Slocum’s name along with the names of the donors.
While working as the university’s head football coach from 1989 to 2002, Slocum led the Aggies to six championships and a 22-game winning streak, ending his coaching career with a 123-47-2 record and solidifying his place as one of the winningest football coaches in college football history. His ability to surpass records and to lead the Texas A&M football team to success awarded him an induction into the National Football Foundation & College Football Hall of Fame in 2012. Today, Slocum continues to represent Texas A&M as special adviser to the president. He also serves as president of the American Football Coaches Foundation and supports multiple charities including the Horatio Alger Association, American Heart Association, M.D. Anderson Foundation and Fellowship of Christian Athletes.
Donors included Judith and Weldon Jaynes ’54 of Arlington, Texas; Sandra and Jerry Griffith ’54 of College Station, Texas; Trisha and L.C. “Chaz” Neely ’62 of San Antonio, Texas; and Angel and Clay V.N. Bright ’78 of Lewisville, Texas.
“During my long career at Texas A&M, I have walked through the MSC hundreds of times and have always appreciated its meaning to our students and former students,” said Slocum. “Having my name on a pillar in this building is a great honor. The generous donations by several longtime friends that created this gift are special to me and my family.”
Bright, an industrial distribution engineering graduate and donor to the Corps of Cadets, 12th Man Foundation and the Department of Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution, was in high school when he first met Slocum. At the time, Slocum was recruiting in Dallas and often stayed at the Bright family home as a friend to Bright’s father.
“I ate breakfast with him every morning,” said Bright. “I am proud to be R.C.’s friend, and I am proud that R.C.’s name is memorialized for eternity on the Texas A&M campus.”
All of the donors are A&M Legacy Society members and generous supporters of Texas A&M. Jaynes, an industrial technology engineering graduate, and his wife Judith have supported the 12th Man Foundation and have also contributed to the Department of Soil & Crop Sciences and Corps of Cadets. Griffith, a chemical engineering graduate, and his wife Sandra established a chemical engineering scholarship and have also made financial commitments to the 12th Man Foundation. Neely, a marketing graduate, and his wife Trisha have funded scholarships in the Mays Business School and gave a donation to establish an endowed chair in business. They have also given Corps of Cadets scholarships and supported the 12th Man Foundation.
The couples were glad to have the opportunity to dually honor a longtime friend and support the MSC.
“I’ve known R.C. for more than 42 years, and this gift marks the perfect way to honor a man who played such a strong role in shaping Texas A&M history,” said Foundation President Ed Davis ’67. “It is fitting that our donors would choose to recognize R.C.’s achievements in one of the most central and special places on campus and that our students will continue to remember his impact as they walk through the MSC.”