Campus Life

Texas A&M University Raises $4.25 Billion In State’s Largest Higher Education Campaign

Historic “Lead by Example” effort drew more than 903,600 gifts and contributions from donors.
By Texas A&M University February 24, 2021

campus aerial shot
An aerial view of the Texas A&M University campus in College Station.

Sam Craft/Texas A&M Division of Marketing & Communications


The nine year, $4 billion Lead by Example campaign — the most ambitious higher education capital campaign in Texas history — recently concluded, having raised $4.25 billion for Texas A&M University students, faculty and staff.

Publicly launched in 2015 as a joint effort between Texas A&M and its affiliate fundraising organizations — the Texas A&M Foundation, The Association of Former Students, the 12th Man Foundation, the George & Barbara Bush Foundation, and the Texas Aggie Corps of Cadets Association — 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. The university began counting gifts to the campaign on Jan. 1, 2012.

Texas A&M System Chancellor John Sharp 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.”

Donors gave more than 903,600 gifts to Texas A&M during the campaign, creating 3,364 new endowments supporting scholarships and fellowships, student and college programs, faculty chairs and professorships, and more. Former students went above and beyond in supporting their alma mater, contributing more than 60 percent of campaign gifts, while nearly 40 percent of gifts came from non-alumni and other public and private foundations.

“The Lead by Example campaign has engaged more Aggies in support of Texas A&M than ever before in history,” said Porter Garner III ’79, president 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.”

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,” Voelkel said. “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*.

*The link is no longer active and has been removed.

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