April 9, 2017

The Texas A&M Foundation welcomed its 10th class of Maroon Coats, its student ambassador organization.

The Texas A&M Foundation honored its 10th class of Maroon Coats at a coating ceremony at the Foundation’s headquarters, the Jon L. Hagler Center, on Sunday, April 9. In celebration of the organization’s 10th anniversary, all former members were also invited to the event.

As student ambassadors to the Texas A&M Foundation, Maroon Coats aim to increase the culture of philanthropy at Texas A&M University by thanking donors and educating their peers on the importance of outside support. The organization includes Texas A&M University student leaders involved in a range of activities and from various educational disciplines.

The Maroon Coats were the brainchild of former Texas A&M Foundation president Dr. Ed Davis, who envisioned a group of students who could represent the Foundation while honing their interpersonal and leadership skills. A decade later, more than 180 Texas A&M students call themselves Maroon Coats.

“The Maroon Coats grew tremendously fast,” said Shannon Zwernemann, the group’s adviser since its inception and a 2003 graduate of the university. “We were already where I thought we would be in 10 years by year five.”

Maroon Coats log many volunteer hours each semester interacting with donors at special events, hosting tours and giving speeches at Foundation receptions. In 2014, the Maroon Coats began hosting the Student Organization Advancement Conference to provide student organizations the opportunity to learn about fundraising and philanthropy.

"It is amazing to see the span of reach the Maroon Coats have had over an entire decade,” said Lauren Friend, the president of the Maroon Coats and master’s degree candidate in the Department of Agricultural Economics and Agribusiness. “From current and former students, the Texas A&M Foundation Maroon Coats have been able to foster and develop relationships between like-minded individuals in order to truly lead by example. These students and the donors we assist constantly inspire me to be of selfless service through any means necessary to make this world a better place."

Over the past decade, the Maroon Coats have devoted more than 7,300 service hours, provided over 300 campus tours, written thousands of thank you letters and made hundreds of phone calls.

“The Maroon Coats program has given us a brilliant group of young leaders who have all played a big part in making a difference for their university,” said Texas A&M Foundation President Tyson Voelkel. “These students provide an integral layer of the donor experience at Texas A&M, and I’m eager to see what this group will accomplish in the next ten years.”

The newest members of the Texas A&M Foundation Maroon Coats are:

  • Ryan Bindel ’18, a biomedical sciences major from Mansfield, Texas
  • Joshua Brookins ’18, an accounting major from Coral Springs, Florida
  • Madison Codney ’18, a political Science major from New Braunfels, Texas
  • Ty Crawford ’18, a geography major from Argyle, Texas
  • Eunice Fafiyebi ’17, a public health major from Katy, Texas
  • Tori Forbess ’19, an industrial distribution major from Lubbock, Texas
  • Connor Joseph ’19, an agribusiness major from College Station, Texas
  • Jeremiah Lopez ’18, a university studies – ag leadership major from Gonzales, Texas
  • Hudson Lorfing ’19, a mechanical engineering major from Houston, Texas
  • Cassidy Lovett ’18, a marketing major from College Station, Texas
  • Elton McIntosh ’19, a mechanical engineering major from Dallas, Texas
  • Elizabeth Nevins ’18, a biomedical sciences major from Plano, Texas
  • Ellie Notzon ’19, a general studies – pre-med major from San Antonio, Texas
  • Trevor Pownell ’18, a business honors and finance major from Dallas, Texas
  • Azra Razvi ’19, a business honors and management major from College Station, Texas
  • Kelly Roach ’18, a finance major from Middleton, Wisconsin
  • Sarah Spohn ’18, an English major from College Station, Texas
  • Carissa van Beek ’18, an accounting major from Cape Town, South Africa
  • Armando Vendrell-Velez ’19, an international studies major from Aibonito, Puerto Rico
  • Sara Wojcak ’18, a management major from Mustang, Oklahoma

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.