Caitlin "Cait" Shields '11 January 9, 2018 5:11 PM updated: January 17, 2018 10:51 AM
A Class gift leaves a legacy for years to come, an especially noticeable one in the case of the fightin' Texas Aggie Class of 2017, which will provide that tangible, intrinsic Aggie symbol – the Aggie Ring – for generations of students to come.
The Class of 2017 recently gave an endowed Aggie Ring Scholarship to The Association of Former Students to provide a Ring annually for students who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford one, said Claire Wimberly ’17, one of the Class Agents.
“The Aggie Ring is the most tangible sign of our iconic Aggie Network,” she said. “When you look down at that Aggie finger and that class year, you’re reminded of your time at A&M and all the other members of the Aggie Network. Aggie Ring Day is one of the greatest days of your life as an Aggie, and getting to give that joy to a student every single year is going to be really fun.”
Not only did the Class vote to endow a Ring scholarship as its Class gift, the group raised enough funds to commit almost $20,000 to another project.
“We are endowing $25,000 (plus fees and a $1,000 scholarship to start) toward that Ring scholarship, and we have $19,000 left over that we are giving back to A&M and are in search right now to determine what represents our Class best,” Wimberly said, noting she and the other Class Agents are soliciting ideas from classmates.
“Our ability to give this gift is a testament to the leadership and the giving spirit of the Class of 2017. If they had not participated in traditions and given a few dollars here and there, we wouldn’t have been able to give this gift.”
Sheila Nelson ’92, development specialist at The Association, said the Class of 2017 joins eight other Classes that have endowed Aggie Ring scholarships.
“We pretty much guarantee the endowment is going to pay 4 percent, which provides one men’s Ring or two women’s Rings annually,” Nelson said. “Since they paid the extra $1,000 scholarship up front, they’ll be able to award a Ring this cycle; otherwise, it takes about two years to build up for the first scholarship.”
Nelson said Ring scholarships can be applied for through the Veteran Resource & Support Center for student veterans and through Scholarships & Financial Aid for all other students. She also noted that donors who give an endowed Ring scholarship can specify eligibility requirements for their fund.
“For the Class of 2017 scholarship, students must have a minimum 2.8 GPA and have an out-of-state or international student designation, with a preference for students that have exhibited exemplary student leadership,” Nelson said. “With our world and businesses becoming more international, with lots of relationships outside of Texas, I think it’s pretty neat the Class of 2017 chose to award a Ring scholarship that was outside of Texas. It shows a commitment to supporting someone outside of Texas, to spreading the Aggie Spirit beyond our borders.”
For information on giving an endowed Aggie Ring Scholarship, email Nelson at SNelson92@AggieNetwork.com or call her at (979) 845-7514.