“Lead by Example” Campaign Surpasses Halfway Mark, Foundation Provides University Record Amount


Just one year after the official launch of the “Lead by Example” campaign, a comprehensive effort to raise $4 billion by the year 2020, Texas A&M University has surpassed the halfway point of its fundraising goal. In its 2016 annual report, the Texas A&M Foundation announced that “Lead by Example” has raised $2.3 billion as of Aug. 31 and that the Foundation will make a record $103.9 million available to Texas A&M University. Funds made available are a combination of gifts from the 2016 fiscal year that were intended for immediate use as well as endowment earnings from previous years.

The “Lead by Example” campaign is a joint effort between Texas A&M and its affiliate organizations: the Texas A&M Foundation, The Association of Former Students, the 12th Man Foundation and the George Bush Presidential Library Foundation. It is the largest higher education campaign in Texas history and the second largest conducted nationally by a public university.

“The Foundation is proud to manage the ‘Lead by Example’ campaign,” said Tyson Voelkel, president of the Texas A&M Foundation. “Our professional team is dedicated to furthering excellence in transformational learning, innovation and impact across the state, nation and world through the art and science of connecting donors’ passions with university needs.
“Reaching the halfway point of this campaign is a milestone that serves as a reminder of both the quality of our university and the ceaseless generosity of our dedicated donors.”

Counted in the campaign total are significant pledges for the following programs:

  • The Haynes Scholars Program, created through commitments from Reta Haynes
  • The Global Distribution Study Abroad Program in the Department of Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution, supported through current and planned gifts from Mary-Ann and Tom Ferguson ’78
  • The Petroleum Ventures Program in the College of Engineering and Mays Business School, created through commitments from Anthony Bahr ’91 and Jay Graham ’92

Most donors to the Foundation designate how their gifts will be used; many contributions support scholarships while others fund faculty, student activities and college programs. The Foundation focuses on endowment gifts in particular and aims to maximize growth of its endowment value through asset allocation of the gift principal.

“We are grateful to donors who have led us to well over halfway towards our $4 billion goal,” said Michael K. Young, Texas A&M University president. “Every one of those dollars goes into things that transform this university and the experiences that our students have. And we know that the best is yet to come!”

Capital improvements on campus have also played a role in the campaign total. In addition to its $458 million renovation of Kyle Field, which completed in 2015, the university is in the midst of many active construction projects, such as:

  • The Gardens at Texas A&M, with major support by Amy ’84 and Tim Leach ’82
  • The Zachry Engineering Education Complex, named through a $25 million lead gift from the Zachry Group
  • The John D. White ’70—Robert L. Walker ’58 Music Activities Center, named through a $10 million gift from the Ed Rachal Foundation

Gifts to support these and other construction initiatives played a prominent role in the $15 million increase in funds made available to the university in fiscal year 2015.

Texas A&M Campaign To Address Real World Issues

Texas A&M Foundation

The Texas A&M Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable entity established in 1953 to encourage, receive and manage gifts in support of educational excellence at Texas A&M University.

For additional information and to see the Foundation’s 2016 online annual report, visit annualreport.txamfoundation.com or contact Monika Blackwell at mblackwell@txamfoundation.com or (979) 845-7468.

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