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Spirit is published three times per year by the Texas A&M Foundation, which manages major gifts and endowments for the benefit of academic programs, scholarships and student activities at Texas A&M University.

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Campaign Update

Eager to Lead

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.

 

The call for globally attuned graduates is being heard around the world. Texas A&M ranks third nationally in students having study, research, intern or volunteer experiences abroad and sends more than 4,300 students to more than 100 countries each year—a number that continues to grow. Since the start of the campaign, donors to the Texas A&M Foundation have given more than 30 global study scholarships and supported various college-based international programs.

You can establish a global study scholarship for a student in any college or major starting at $25,000, but gifts are payable over a five-year period. The Foundation has matching opportunities through the John Tom Campbell ’45 Endowed Scholarship Program, which will provide matching funds in $25,000 increments for 54 study abroad scholarships. Twenty-seven of the matching scholarships were established as of June 30.

 

Transformational Education for all Students:

Strengthen every student’s education by providing transformational experiences and supporting timely graduation with low debt.

A degree from Texas A&M already stands for something: exceptional intellectual experiences, preparation in service and leadership, and the development of a critical mindset. But it can stand for more. Imagine if every student had the opportunity to participate in immersive educational experiences beyond the confines of the classroom and even beyond “the other education” received through student organizations.

 

International experiences provide students with expanded perspectives and prepare them for the globally-integrated workplace.

Campaign funds directed toward the Transformational Education pillar support experiences such as living learning communities, where students seeking similar academic goals or who have similar interests live and learn together; capstone projects, a culminating experience that allows a graduating student to address an issue or question that interests them; and study abroad and international work or research experiences.

These experiences prepare student-leaders who enter the world determined to make things better. Expanding access to these programs, however, should be accomplished in a fashion that does not delay timely graduation or increase a student’s debt.

Texas A&M’s research capabilities would not be possible without the talent and energy of dedicated graduate students and faculty.

One of the university's most impressive catalysts for attracting world-class research talent to Texas A&M is the Hagler Institute for Advanced Study, which brings world-renowned faculty to study and teach at Texas A&M each year.

However, to recruit even more leading faculty and advanced degree candidates, Texas A&M must expand its financial and research opportunities. Since the start of the campaign, donors to the Texas A&M Foundation have funded 31 faculty chairs, 26 professorships and 27 faculty fellowships.

By funding an endowed graduate fellowship or faculty fellowship, professorship or chair, you can play a powerful role in this mission, supporting students and faculty as well as research in the field and college of your choice. Graduate fellowships start at $25,000, while faculty fellowships start at $150,000; professorships can be established with a gift of $300,000 to $500,000; and chairs at $1 million.

Discovery and Innovation for the World:

Through collaborative research and entrepreneurial approaches, address some of the world’s toughest challenges.

From the tiniest molecules to the most expansive galaxies, Texas A&M faculty and students have a hand in research that spans disciplines and that has important human ties. With research comes the promise of answers to some of the most pressing issues facing 21st century society: extreme poverty, poor health, energy crises, climate change, water scarcity, food shortages, and infectious diseases and epidemics.

Texas A&M stands today as one of the largest research universities in the United States, with research conducted on every continent. Its faculty-researchers generate more than $866 million in research expenditures, all while enhancing undergraduate and graduate education by providing hands-on research learning opportunities. In fact, 20 to 30 percent of Texas A&M undergraduates participate in research activities.

Texas A&M is a research powerhouse. Faculty fellowships, professorships and chairs help attract the best minds to the university.

Along with the University of Texas and Rice University, Texas A&M is one of only three Tier 1 universities in the state. Year after year, massive and interdisciplinary research projects are funded on campus by agencies such as NASA, the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation.

Funds supporting the Discovery and Innovation pillar will accelerate ongoing research initiatives and bring the best minds in science and technology to Texas A&M

Two examples of Texas A&M programs that impact the state, nation and world are the Veterinary Emergency Team (VET) and the Center for Texas Beaches and Shores.

The VET in the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences is the largest and most sophisticated veterinary medical disaster response team in the country. There are naming opportunities for a responder dorm trailer and mobile units, as well as for another priority: a warehouse in College Station to house the unit’s equipment under one roof. Additionally, the program seeks a $15 million endowment for a director’s chair and operational expenses to secure its long-term future.

The Center for Texas Beaches and Shores at Texas A&M University Galveston was established in 1993 by the Texas Legislature to address beach erosion, wetlands loss, and coastal sustainability and resiliency. The center seeks a $5 million research and operational endowment to continue its work conserving and protecting the Texas shoreline, bays and waterways through innovative research in cooperation with government and private sector agencies.

To learn more, visit leadbyexample.tamu.edu.

Impact on the State, Nation and World:

Integrate Texas A&M’s land-grant origins with its top-tier research strengths to serve the state, nation and world.

Texas A&M is one of only 17 institutions in the nation to hold the triple designation of land, sea and space-grant university. Its commitment is first and foremost to the state of Texas, providing valuable education to first-generation students and students of all backgrounds, as well as developing productive leaders who will enter the nation’s workforce. In fact, Washington Monthly recently ranked the university third nationally in research, service, social mobility and contributions to society.

The university’s presence is also felt directly in all 254 Texas counties through its partnerships with Texas A&M AgriLife Research and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service.

Graduate students at The Bush School of Government and Public Service spent the spring semester interning at the Texas Legislature.

But as Aggies, our responsibility extends well beyond state borders—from the conservation of coasts and marine areas to the exploration of space. Many of the university’s college-based programs are dedicated to making an impact beyond campus’ 5,200 acres.

Funds that support the Impact on the State, Nation and World pillar bolster Texas A&M’s ability to shape the world through policy, security and leadership.