We have come a long way since John Archibald McIver. Widely agreed by historians to be the first student to enroll at Texas A&M, the Caldwell, Texas, native showed up one day early for registration in 1876. Rather than ride his horse back to Caldwell, legend has it that he slept overnight beneath a tree and registered the next morning.
Take away the Old West factor, and McIver’s story still resonates for one simple reason: his eagerness.
Today’s Aggies have the same mentality—one defined by an eagerness to learn, lead and better themselves in both academic and athletic endeavors. This eagerness is reflected in students who think critically about the world around them, faculty who push the boundaries of human discovery, and in the 12th Man standing ready and willing to support its fellow peers.
The same eagerness lies in the university’s dream for a new era of Texas A&M, to be ushered in on the wings of the largest fundraising campaign ever to take place in Texas and the second largest announced by a public higher education institution: Lead by Example.
The name itself derives from the very eager way in which Aggies lead through doing and action, owning up to the responsibility of tomorrow. As of June 30, 2017, more than $2.6 billion has been raised toward the $4 billion campaign goal set for 2020, which includes funds contributed to the Texas A&M Foundation, The Association of Former Students, the 12th Man Foundation and the George H.W. Bush Presidential Library Foundation. Funds from the campaign will bolster scholarship support, faculty research, college-based programs, athletics and student organizations.
The campaign is grounded in three pillars: Transformational Education for all Students; Discovery and Innovation for the World; and Impact on the State, Nation and World.