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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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Also In This Issue

President's Post

Celebrating Our Campus Community

By Tyson Voelkel '96

President, Texas A&M Foundation
Tyson Voelkel '96, Texas A&M Foundation President

When you start throwing numbers out there, the size of Texas A&M University can be overwhelming: 19 colleges and more than 5,200 acres; more than 69,000 students across 128 undergraduate degree programs and 300 graduate programs; and approximately 1,100 student organizations.

Step back and think for a moment about what it takes to keep an institution of this size running on a daily basis. It’s no small task. At the heart of our university, there are thousands of administrators, faculty and staff who work behind-the-scenes, all drawn to their positions by a common vision: the success of our students. They play an important role in shaping the Aggie experience and, in many ways, heavily influence students’ intellectual, social, personal, emotional and even ethical development.

These individuals invest their time and talent every day so that Texas A&M can fulfill its mission and maintain its reputation as a world-class institution. They include everyone from the professors and lecturers at the front of the classroom, to advisers who oversee class schedules and student groups, to the campus landscapers and dining and custodial staff. They are important advocates, actively promoting Texas A&M’s values and culture, supporting its mission and making our university a force for good in the world.

It’s no surprise that many of those who work for Texas A&M are invested personally and financially in the university’s future. In fact, more than 8,000 current, former and retired Texas A&M faculty and staff have given more than $62.5 million to the Lead by Example campaign, a $4 billion fundraising effort for the university that stands at $3.57 billion raised as of June 30, 2019.

Faculty, staff, administrators and students are an integral part of the culture of philanthropy here on campus. That is why, this fall, we will announce a campus giving campaign, emphasizing engagement and participation over dollars raised. It will allow the campus community to participate in the Lead by Example campaign goal and support areas of the university that reflect their personal values and interests.

Throughout the campaign, we will share stories of faculty, staff and student groups who are giving back through service and financial contributions. In this issue’s campaign update, we’ve featured six outstanding faculty and staff members who have already made gifts to Aggieland. While their gifts reflect their different passions, they share one purpose in charting the future course of our university. Their stories inspire me because of the level of investment, passion and selfless service they show for Texas A&M. They all feel strongly about giving back, but the truth is, this university wouldn’t function without them and the thousands of others on the front lines every day.

To all of our faculty, staff and administrators—current, former and retired—thanks for all you do.