Year In Review: 12 Moments That Defined Texas A&M In 2016


Take a look back through the 12 moments that defined 2016 for Texas A&M students, faculty and staff and helped shape the university for the future.

Elon Musk speaks at the 2016 SpaceX Hyperloop competition at Texas A&M University

SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk grabbed national headlines with his surprise Q&A session at the Hyperloop competition.

1Elon Musk Surprised The Hyperloop Design Competition Crowd

SpaceX founder and CEO Elon Musk grabbed international headlines when he made a surprise visit to Texas A&M for the Hyperloop Design Build Competition in Kyle Field’s Hall of Champions. “The public wants something new, and you’re going to give it to them,” he told attendees during a Q&A session.

Texas A&M Aggies Men's Basketball vs Vandervilt Commodores by Thomas Campbell for Texas A&M Athletics

Aggie men’s basketball claimed the SEC championship and advanced to the Sweet 16 during the NCAA championship tournament.

2Aggie Men’s Basketball Pulled Off A March Madness Miracle

Down 12 points with 44 seconds to go vs. Northern Iowa in the second round of the NCAA playoff, the Aggies stormed back to tie and eventually win 92-88 in double-overtime. The win went down as the biggest – and most improbable – comeback in college basketball history.

From left: Student Body President Hannah Wimberly, Corps of Cadets Commander Cecille Sorio and Class of 2017 President Claire Wimberly.

3Aggie Women Made History By Holding All Top Student Leadership Positions

For the first time in Texas A&M history, the top student leadership positions were held by women at the same time with Hannah Wimberly serving as student body president, Cecille Sorio as Corps of Cadets commander and Claire Wimberly as class of 2017 president.


The Texas A&M community celebrated its past and charted a course for the future during “Fearless at 140” week events.

4Texas A&M Celebrated Its 140th Birthday

The Texas A&M campus community celebrated the university’s 140th birthday with a full week of events that included a State of the University address by President Michael K. Young, a birthday celebration in Academic Plaza and a campus-wide scavenger hunt.


Alex Pall of The Chainsmokers reveals a Texas A&M undershirt while picking the Aggies to beat the Tennessee Volunteers.

5ESPN College Gameday Set Up Shop In Spence Park

The ESPN College Gameday crew hosted a live broadcast from Spence Park before Texas A&M football took on Tennessee in one of the most highly anticipated matchups of the season. The celebrity guest pickers, performing artists The Chainsmokers, correctly predicted a Texas A&M victory.

Yell Leaders and President Michael K. Young lead a crowd of more 25,000 in a yell practice before the students left to work on projects.

6Big Event Rallied 22,500 Volunteers

One of Texas A&M’s proudest traditions continued to grow in 2016 by drawing an estimated 22,500 students to take part in a day of selfless service. Students completed 2,700 volunteer projects around the Bryan-College Station community.


Princess Astrid congratulates former Aggie corpsman William Merriweather Peña ’42 after awarding him the Order of the Crown medal as the audience stood and applauded.

7Princess Astrid of Belgium Visited Texas A&M And Honored A World War II Hero

Princess Astrid of Belgium and a team of diplomats visited Texas A&M on a mission to strengthen economic ties with Texas, but made time to honor World War II hero and Texas A&M graduate William Merriweather Peña ’42, who lost a leg during the Battle of the Bulge.


Former U.S. Senator Bob Dole (left) and former President George H.W. Bush (right).

8George H.W. Bush And Bob Dole Reunited During Pearl Harbor 75th

Former President George H.W. Bush and longtime U.S. Senator Bob Dole, both former political rivals and World War 2 Veterans, reunited during a Pearl Harbor 75th Anniversary ceremony at the Bush Library. Dole was presented with the library’s award for public service.

Former Aggie basketball star DeAndre Jordan helped guide Team USA to a gold medal in Rio.

Former Aggie basketball star DeAndre Jordan helped guide Team USA to a gold medal in Rio.

928 Aggie Athletes Competed In The Rio Olympics

Texas A&M surpassed its previous high of 23 former and current student-athletes competing in an Olympics set in 2012 by bringing 28 competitors to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Former track athlete Simone Facey won a silver medal as part of Jamaica’s 4x100m relay team and former basketball athlete DeAndre Jordan helped Team USA basketball win a gold medal.

a hand holding an Aggie ring

More than 14,000 Aggie Rings were ordered in 2016.

The Aggie Family Continued To Grow

2016 was another year of record breaking at Texas A&M with more than 15,000 degrees conferred, more than 14,000 Aggie Rings ordered and a total student body enrollment of more than 66,000.

Numerous state officials, government leaders, Texas A&M administrators, and members of the public visited the new facility on Friday, Nov. 11 to celebrate VBEC’s Grand Opening, which coincides with the college’s centennial year.

Numerous state officials, government leaders, Texas A&M administrators, and members of the public visited the new Vet Med facility.

11Texas A&M Broke New Ground In 2016

Texas A&M broke ground on or completed three major construction projects in 2016 that will not only shape the school’s physical appearance, but the way it students are taught and research is conducted. Projects include the grand opening of the Veterinary Medicine Biomedical Education Complex, the Center for Infrastructure Renewal groundbreaking and the reveal of an outdoor education project. Construction on many other academic and athletic facilities are also underway.

Aggie quarterback Trevor Knight and student-athlete representatives address the Aggies United crowd.

12Social Media Moments That Went Viral

Whether it was getting in on the mannequin challenge or stealing the spotlight at the Super Bowl, Texas A&M garnered social media buzz throughout the year.

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