No one was more dedicated to the colors of maroon and white than Jay Kregel ’89. And up until he lost a battle to cancer in 2011, he lived and breathed all things Texas A&M University.
Kregel’s Aggie journey began when he joined the Corps of Cadets as a member of Company D-1. With the Corps of Cadets’ mission to develop well-educated leaders of character who embody the values of honor, courage, integrity, discipline and selfless service, Kregel was a true product of the Corps. His time as a cadet played an important role in building his leadership abilities and helped him develop deep lifelong ties to the university.
While Kregel valued many of his experiences at Texas A&M, he harbored a longtime appreciation for the relationships he made, especially those with his fellow cadets. He maintained many of these close relationships with his classmates and served as acting class agent until his death.
“Jay had a firm set of standards and principles that aligned with Texas A&M’s core values,” said Peter White ’89, one of Kregel’s close friends. “Being buddies with him was a true privilege.”
Motivated by his standards and molded by his time in the Corps of Cadets, Kregel went on to serve in the United States Marine Corps (USMC). In 1991, after attending the Marine Basic School in Quantico, Virginia, and Field Artillery School in Fort Sill, Oklahoma, Kregel was stationed at Camp Pendleton, California. During his first Marine tour, Kregel deployed on the USS Comstock (LSD-45) as part of the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force to the Persian Gulf. In 1993, he began his second tour of duty with the Marine Recruiting Station Houston. Kregel was honorably discharged from the Marines in 1997. As a civilian, he pursued a financial management career after earning his MBA from The University of Texas at Austin in 1999.
Throughout his life, Kregel exemplified what it means to be an Aggie. His Aggie Spirit continues through a Regents’ Scholarship he established in his will. With the influences of Texas A&M, the Corps of Cadets and his parents in mind, Kregel created the Richard & Ethel Kregel Regents’ Scholarship in honor of his parents. The $100,000 gift is currently funding scholarships for first-generation students.
“When looking to give back, Jay noted the special importance that supporting education can have on an individual’s future and their community,” said Kregel’s friend, James Sumpter ’89. “He believed it was his duty to help the next generation of Aggies.”
Kregel believed that Texas A&M produced leaders, and it was his hope that the Richard & Ethel Kregel Regents’ Scholarship would give opportunities to well deserving students. Thanks to this scholarship support, first-generation student Mirna Cardenas ’18 was able to join the Aggie family.