February 29, 2016

Throughout the country, scores of proud Texas A&M former students, through dedication to and enthusiasm for their alma mater, exemplify what it means to be an Aggie every day of their lives.

Johnson D. Strickel ’49

Johnson D. Strickel ’49 was an Aggie who definitely belonged in that category. The Beaumont native, fondly known as “Shady” to his countless friends, passed away in March 2007. Yet just a year and a half before he died, he arranged to bequeath $100,000 to the Texas A&M Foundation to establish two J. D. Strickel ’49 General Rudder Corps Scholarships.

The scholarship provides cadets with financial assistance for their education so they can fully benefit from their years in the Corps. A taxdeductible gift of $50,000 establishes an endowment that will fund the scholarship in perpetuity. Any company or individual can create an endowed Rudder scholarship, either in their name or in honor of another person, class or organization.

The Corps made a strong impression on Shady Strickel that would stay with him throughout his life. “He just loved being an Aggie and always said that if he could live that life again, he would have,” said his wife, Betty Strickel.

After his passing, she called the Corps to ask for six cadets to serve as pallbearers at his funeral. When 10 showed up to assist, Betty Strickel was reminded of the impact the Corps had on her husband—and vice versa.

“Shady just wanted to give back to the Corps so he could help it live on,” Betty Strickel recalls.

And give back he did—in so many ways. In addition to his generous gift for Texas A&M in his estate plan, Shady Strickel unselfishly donated his time and contributions to several clubs and organizations that support Texas A&M.

Texas A&M Foundation
The Texas A&M Foundation is a nonprofit organization that solicits and manages investments in academics and leadership programs to enhance Texas A&M’s capability to be among the best universities.