More than $350 million was given by donors to the 12th Man Foundation’s Annual Fund, which supports Texas A&M athletic programs. Due to more than $283 million in contributions, a number of campus athletic facilities received remarkable makeovers as well. The successful renovation of Kyle Field transformed the beloved Home of the 12th Man into the fifth-largest stadium in the world by capacity and the nation’s preeminent college football venue. Texas A&M’s track and field and softball programs found new homes in the $39.6 million E.B. Cushing Stadium and $28.6 million Davis Diamond, respectively. And in 2014, the Thomas G. Hildebrand, DVM ’56 Equine Complex was completed, providing world-class equestrian grounds for the 11-time national champion Aggie equestrian team.
In July 2015, the 12th Man Foundation also launched the 1922 Fund to endow scholarships for all Texas A&M student-athletes. Donors committed $2.7 million during the fund’s inaugural year and, by the end of the campaign, the fund balance grew to approximately $14 million. “The Lead by Example campaign has been transformational for Texas A&M and our athletic programs,” said Travis Dabney ’96, president of the 12th Man Foundation. “The significant investment by donors has changed the landscape for Texas A&M athletics and allowed us to attract top-quality student-athletes and leaders in coaching and administration.”
Porter Garner III ’79, president of The Association of Former Students, lauded the Aggie Network’s efforts during the campaign. Through contributions from 140,000 individuals, The Association exceeded its goal to raise $100 million during the campaign by raising $143 million. These funds support university-directed programs through The Association’s Annual Fund.
“The Lead by Example campaign has engaged more Aggies in support of Texas A&M than ever before in history,” Garner said. “The loyal generosity of the Aggie Network throughout the campaign continues to make a difference for Texas A&M and for so many things we hold dear as Aggies.”
As Texas A&M looks toward a new era for the world and university alike, it has the collective support of its renowned Aggie community to thank for its ongoing success. Despite the extraordinary economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, donor support remained steadfast throughout the last year of the Lead by Example campaign; contributions totaled $476 million in 2020 alone.
Community support did not always come in dollars, either; students dedicated approximately 12 million reported volunteer hours during the campaign, helping others and leading by example. According to Tyson Voelkel ’96, president of the Texas A&M Foundation, it will be future generations who will be impacted by this generation’s philanthropic investment.
“Four billion dollars is an impressive number, but it is the positive human impact that speaks greater volumes,” said Voelkel. “The Lead by Example campaign shattered records because countless Aggies and friends of Texas A&M University believe in its mission. They believe in our university’s humble beginnings, our values, and Texas A&M’s ability to create an exponentially brighter future for our state, nation and world. This campaign proves that the Aggie Spirit and Texas A&M’s mission to educate principled leaders of character is still alive and well.”
Additional highlights from the campaign are available at leadbyexample.tamu.edu.
Texas A&M Foundation
The Texas A&M Foundation is a nonprofit organization that aspires to be among the most trusted philanthropies in higher education. It builds a brighter future for Texas A&M University, one relationship at a time. To learn more, visit txamfoundation.com.