A Commitment to service and fascination with asia
Hayford’s commitment to public service stems from his family’s deep military ties that stretch back to the American Revolution. He proudly points to the more recent military service of both of his grandfathers, his uncle, his father and his older brother. “Growing up in a family like that, military service and service in general—whether it is in your community or on a state or national level—is just part of what you do,” said Hayford, who was inspired by their example.
His interest in foreign affairs is rooted in his participation in the Model United Nations program while in middle and high school. “I fell in love with learning about different cultures and countries,” he said. “The ways people interact, governments govern, and nations trade and negotiate fascinate me.”
During those early years, he developed a fascination with Asia. As a young man, he served as a missionary in Taiwan, as a student ambassador at the USA Pavilion at the Shanghai World Expo 2010, and as an employee of a U.S. nonprofit in Tibet. These experiences led him to earn a degree in Asian studies with minors in business management and Chinese from Brigham Young University.
Hayford’s decision to pursue a Master of International Affairs with concentrations in China studies, intelligence, and defense policy and military affairs was prompted by his desire to deepen his understanding of China’s policies and its relationship to the United States. A three-week study abroad trip to China gave Hayford the opportunity to meet top foreign affairs officials and policymakers. He also used his time at the Bush School to reach out to U.S. policymakers and subject-matter experts and to write op-eds that were published in media outlets such as The Christian Science Monitor.
While at the Bush School, Hayford took every opportunity to learn from visiting political contacts. Soon after moving to Dallas after graduation, Hayford volunteered in the presidential campaign. Eventually, he hopes to use his education along with his various experiences and contacts to influence U.S. foreign policy and national security strategy in the Asia-Pacific region.
CreatE a charitable bequest
A charitable bequest is one of the easiest ways you can leave a lasting impact at Texas A&M. By designating the Foundation as beneficiary of an asset, such as cash, stocks, or real estate, in your will or trust, you can direct support to any area at Texas A&M. Benefits of creating a bequest include retaining assets during one’s lifetime, lessening the burden of taxes on one’s family and supporting Texas A&M.
Ben Hayford ’14 made it a priority to support graduate students and study abroad experiences through a bequest in his will. Making a gift is his way of repaying the university that advanced his career trajectory and supporting future students in their own commitment to public service. Bequeathing an asset to Texas A&M is an investment in the future. View the Foundation’s suggested bequest language.