April 16, 2018

COLLEGE STATION, Texas—The Texas A&M Foundation welcomed 23 students into its 11th class of Maroon Coats at a coating ceremony at the Foundation’s headquarters, the Jon L. Hagler Center, on Sunday, April 15.

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 private support. The organization includes Texas A&M University student leaders from various educational disciplines who are involved in a range of activities.

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 200 Texas A&M students call themselves Maroon Coats.

“The Maroon Coats program has given us a brilliant group of young leaders who play a big part in making a difference for the university,” said Texas A&M Foundation President Tyson Voelkel. “These students provide an integral layer of the donor experience at Texas A&M by exposing our donors to some of the best and brightest students the university has to offer. The program also allows these students to interact with and learn from our amazing supporters.”

The Texas A&M Foundation welcomed 23 students into its 11th class of Maroon Coats during a coating ceremony on Sunday, April 15 at the Jon L. Hagler Center.

Maroon Coats log many volunteer hours each semester by interacting with donors at special events, hosting campus tours, writing thank you notes and giving speeches at Foundation receptions. In 2014, the Maroon Coats began hosting the Student Organization Advancement Conference to provide Texas A&M student organizations the opportunity to learn about fundraising and philanthropy. This spring, more than 80 students attended the event.

“The Maroon Coats continue to impact our university every day,” said Maroon Coat President Maggie Malone. “I believe each Maroon Coat has a heart to serve the students on campus by reinforcing the mission of the Foundation. We connect each generation of Aggies and enjoy interacting with our donors. At the end of the day, we get to say, ‘thank you’ to those who help set Texas A&M up for future success.”

This year’s candidates underwent a three-part selection process that began in January. Current Maroon Coats first reviewed 411 applications, a jump of 85 submissions compared to last year. The second phase of the process gave 186 students a chance to socialize with current Maroon Coats and Foundation employees. During the third phase, standing members interviewed the final 66 applicants.

Current Maroon Coats made the final selection by secret ballot. They sought to select student leaders who are well-intentioned, passionate and who represent a diverse range of backgrounds. 

“Each of our new Maroon Coats is a leader in his or her own right,” said Malone. “We have Yell Leaders, track stars, student government representatives and more, but those groups do not completely define them. As a Maroon Coat, they get to display who they really are, not just what they do. I cannot wait for Texas A&M’s donors to meet this next class.”

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

  • Olivia Alexander ’19, a mechanical engineering major from Prosper, Texas  
  • Kyle Barth ’18, an accounting major from Austin
  • Meryl Belisario ’19, a psychology major from San Antonio
  • Jacob Brookins ’18, an electronic systems engineering technology major from Coral Springs, Florida
  • Jason Edmondson ’19, an agricultural economics major from Burnet, Texas  
  • Anna Fosdick ’19, a communication major from Hockley, Texas
  • Emma Gibney ’20, a psychology major from McKinney, Texas   
  • Logan Gutwein ’19, an aerospace engineering major from Argyle, Texas   
  • Phoebe Ho-Stone ’19, a petroleum engineering major from Spring, Texas   
  • Christian Hutzler ’19, an accounting major from Plano, Texas
  • Justin “Ilolo” Izu ’19, an allied health major from Arlington, Texas   
  • Kaytlen James ’18, a nutrition major from Fredericksburg, Texas  
  • Sierra Laures ’20, a marketing major from Plano, Texas  
  • Jorge Morillo ’19, a nutrition major Southlake, Texas   
  • Olivia Moss ’20, a biomedical engineering major from Southlake, Texas  
  • Elliot Omohundro ’20, a business honors and finance major from New Braunfels, Texas  
  • Demi Oyeniyi ’19, a chemical engineering major from Austin
  • Abigail Preiss ’19, a business honors and accounting major from San Francisco, California
  • George Michael Swift ’19, a business honors and accounting major from Magnolia, Texas 
  • Sarah Swiney ’20, a nutrition major from Richardson, Texas    
  • Ellie Tuchaai ’20, a nutrition major from Perth, Western Australia
  • Evan Walker ’20, an international studies major from Houston, Texas   
  • Joshua Williams ’19, a national security and diplomacy graduate student from Houston

Texas A&M Foundation 
The Texas A&M Foundation is a nonprofit organization that unites generosity and vision to raise and manage major endowed gifts that support the future of Texas A&M University. For additional information and for photographs, please contact Dunae Crenwelge at dcrenwelge@txamfoundation.com or (979) 845-7461.