May 17, 2022

In the summer of 1987, then-high school senior Yvonne Rode Moody ’91 met Howard Terry, who asked a question that changed her life forever:

If we pick you for this scholarship, will you pay it forward to ensure that other students have this opportunity, whether through your time, talent or treasure?”


Her affirmative response, along with the rest of her interview, landed Moody among the 17 inaugural Terry Scholars, a prestigious scholarship program that has since provided 6,012 Texas students with full-ride scholarships, a community of peers and mentorship from previous scholars. But for Moody, this question also marked the beginning of a long journey from high school student to president and executive director of the Terry Foundation.  

From Student to Scholar 

Moody first gravitated toward Texas A&M after attending an engineering conference on campus. It was there that the Fredericksburg, Texas, native was exposed to different engineering disciplines and the Aggie Network. “During my visits to Texas A&M, I quickly realized how special it was,” she said. “It’s such a friendly place, and as a wide-eyed high school student, that was everything to me. People you don’t even know will go out of their way to say ‘Howdy’ to you.”  

Success and Service 

Moody’s selection as a Terry Scholar opened doors for her during her time as a student. The full-ride scholarship freed her from needing a job, and she joined the Texas A&M Cross Country Team to run with seven to 10 other students. “As a first-generation college student, it was hard to find my place of belonging,” she recalled. “Running and competing with other young men and women gave me the community I needed.” 

In 2012, Yvonne Rode Moody '91 was named the first executive director for the Terry Foundation. Three years later, she became president.
“Being in Aggieland feels just like coming home. Texas A&M laid a great foundation for my career, and I help students set the same foundation every day.”
- Yvonne Rode Moody ’91

Focusing on the programmatic side of the Terry Foundation, Moody supports a team of 11 staff members. Most of her work involves long-range planning to prepare for each class of scholars and traveling to the 13 colleges that admit Terry Scholars. Moody shared that the most rewarding part of her job is cultivating relationships just as Mr. Terry did, and though she works with many schools, the core values of Texas A&M have left the biggest mark on her personal life and career.  

“Being in Aggieland feels just like coming home,” Moody said. “Texas A&M laid a great foundation for my career, and I help students set the same foundation every day.”

A Well-Founded Legacy

Terry was always partial to stand-out students like Moody. As a football player while earning his Bachelor of Business Administration at The University of Texas, he understood and valued the dedication required of student leaders and athletes. His leadership experiences translated to a bountiful career, serving in the military during World War II, working for Procter & Gamble and founding businesses in various fields.