Susan "Sue" Owen '94 February 24, 2021 10:05 AM updated: February 25, 2021 11:59 AM
The largest higher education campaign in Texas history recently concluded, passing its goal and raising $4.25 billion for Texas A&M University students, faculty and staff.
As a part of the joint effort behind the Lead by Example campaign, The Association of Former Students supplied the majority of donors – 140,000 individuals making an average gift of $140 each, clearly demonstrating the impact of strength in numbers.
Overall, 64% of Lead by Example contributions came from former students; nearly 40% came from non-alumni and public and private foundations. The university began counting gifts to the campaign Jan. 1, 2012.
Lead by Example set out to raise $4 billion and cement the university’s standing as a world-class, top-tier public research institution for generations to come. It has been a joint effort between Texas A&M and its affiliate fundraising organizations, including The Association as well as the Texas A&M Foundation, the 12th Man Foundation, the George and Barbara Bush Foundation and the Texas Aggie Corps of Cadets Association.
Among impacts already taking shape from Lead by Example funds:
“The Lead by Example campaign has engaged more Aggies in support of Texas A&M than ever before in history,” said Porter S. Garner III ’79, president and CEO of The Association of Former Students. “The loyal generosity of the Aggie Network throughout the campaign continues to make a difference for Texas A&M and for so many things we hold dear as Aggies.”
From Texas A&M:
Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp '72 said the fundraising process allowed many to grow closer to their university. “Aggies love and support their university, so there was no doubt they would give back generously to keep Texas A&M at the forefront of great universities,” Sharp said. “My congratulations to everyone who worked so hard to achieve the incredible goal of raising more than $4.25 billion.”
“Lead by Example represented a notable paradigm shift for Texas A&M,” said Interim President John Junkins. “It pushed forward an institution-wide evolution by strengthening high-impact research initiatives; funding significant updates to academic and athletic facilities; creating life-changing endowed scholarships and chairs for students and faculty; and bolstering traditions and programs that make Aggieland a world-renowned campus environment.”
As Texas A&M looks toward a new era for the world and university alike, it has the collective support of its renowned Aggie community to thank for its ongoing success. Notably, current and former Aggie faculty and staff gave $61 million, demonstrating their belief in Texas A&M’s value to its local and global communities.
Community support did not always come in dollars, either; students dedicated approximately 12 million reported volunteer hours during the campaign, helping others and leading by example. According to Tyson Voelkel ’96, president of the Texas A&M Foundation, it will be future generations who will be impacted by this generation’s philanthropic investment.
“$4 billion is an impressive number, but it is the positive human impact that speaks greater volumes,” said Voelkel. “I ask you to think about this campaign in terms of people. Think about those students who will receive scholarships that allow them to attend Texas A&M and the doors their education will open throughout their lives. Think of the children being born today who will enjoy longer, healthier lives thanks to Aggie-led research initiatives. Finally, think of future state, national and global leaders who will make decisions based on the values and traditions they learned at Texas A&M.”
Additional highlights from the campaign are available at leadbyexample.tamu.edu.
Among Texas A&M’s affiliate fundraising organizations:
The Association of Former Students is the oldest organization serving Texas A&M University in support of the ever-growing Aggie Network. We are HERE for Aggies during their days as students and former students, THERE for Aggies as they make their way around the world and EVERYWHERE the Aggie Network needs us to be. To help us help more Aggies, visit tx.ag/Give.