“The hope is that those on this scholarship find the same kind of lifelong connections that we did,” said Robert Gootee ’73, CEO of an insurance company in Portland, Oregon. “I think that is the single biggest reason why we created this scholarship.”
The class of ’73 Company L-1 has held reunions for 20-plus years, but get-togethers aren’t restricted to annual events. Members meet frequently for fishing trips and all manner of social activities. And they’ve seen each other through every slice of life—weddings, family funerals and graduations.
“The Corps has been the defining event of my life,” Gootee added. “These people are like family.”
Ditto, said Jim Ivey ’73, a retired Army engineer and logistician who held multiple command posts during his career. “Robert Flesher and I are both Army veterans, and we think it would be great if we can help out veterans with this scholarship, too. We’d love to see young men and women come back after their service and get involved in the Corps. This would be a nice way to help them so they won’t take on crushing debt.”
David McClung ’73 recalled a scholarship he received while at Texas A&M: $500 from the A&M Club of Northwest Louisiana. At the time, a considerable sum. “It’s nice to be able to give back,” McClung said. “Aggies learn early on that Texas A&M thrives because of the generosity of Aggies who have come before us. Personal determination to somehow provide the same benefit to future Aggies has become a reality because of our small part in this endowed scholarship.”
Keep It Going
The way Stromberg sees it, the class of ’73 Company L-1 scholarship has done more than just help him out financially. It serves as a template for the Aggie spirit of giving back.
“Those guys from Company L-1 class of ’73 are the embodiment of what it means to be an Aggie and pay it forward,” Stromberg said. “Their ability to come together and make a difference in people’s lives is what makes them so remarkable. I hope they know how much I appreciate this. I want to pay it forward for someone else someday just like they did. That’s my goal. Let’s keep it going.”
To learn more about how you can create a scholarship for a student in the Corps of Cadets, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Four Ways to Support Students in the Corps:
Keepers of the Spirit Scholarships are awarded to cadets who aspire to the highest scholastic and leadership standards. You can fund a Keepers of the Spirit Scholarship with a $500,000 endowment, which will annually fund four scholarships for cadets in each class year. Recipients must maintain a minimum 3.2 overall grade point average (GPA). These scholarships defray the cost of tuition and expenses by $20,000 to $25,000 over four years.
Corps of Cadets 21st Century Scholarships ensure that future generations of our nation’s leaders continue to come from Texas A&M. Recipients of this scholarship must maintain a minimum 3.0 overall grade point average (GPA). You can fund a Corps 21 Scholarship with a $100,000 endowment* and defray the cost of tuition and expenses by $16,000 to $18,000 over four years.
General Rudder Corps Scholarships encourage outstanding students with a high potential for success to commit to learning leadership in the Corps. Recipients of this scholarship must maintain a minimum 2.5 overall grade point average (GPA). You can fund a General Rudder Corps Scholarship with a $50,000 endowment and defray the cost of tuition and expenses by $8,000 to $10,000 over four years.
Sul Ross Scholarships are awarded to deserving students with financial need. Recipients of this scholarship must maintain a minimum 2.3 overall grade point average (GPA). You can fund a Sul Ross Scholarship with a $25,000 endowment* and defray the cost of tuition and expenses by $4,000 to $4,800 over four years.