Campus Life

Albers Aerospace Pledges $2.25 Million To Support Texas A&M Student Veteran Success

President and CEO John Albers ’90 sees the gift as an investment in future of university, state and nation.
By Dunae Reader '15, Texas A&M Foundation September 9, 2022

John Albers ’90
John Albers ’90

Texas A&M Foundation

Albers Aerospace has pledged an endowed gift of $2.25 million through the Texas A&M Foundation to establish the Albers Aerospace Veterans Excellence Endowment Fund supporting the Don & Ellie Knauss Veteran Resource & Support Center (VRSC) at Texas A&M University.

This is the third principal gift directed to the VRSC since its founding in 2012, the first being a $1.9 million gift from the Knausses to create veteran scholarships in 2017 and another gift from the couple naming the VRSC in 2020. With Aggie industrial engineering graduate John Albers ’90 serving as president and CEO of Albers Aerospace, this gift also marks the first principal gift from a former student specifically directed to support student veterans at Texas A&M.

The benchmark gift closely coincides with the VRSC’s 10th anniversary this month. Its longtime director, Col. Jerry Smith ’82, USMC (Ret.), emphasized the gift’s lasting impact on Aggie veterans. “This generous donation creates new opportunities to enhance Texas A&M’s reputation as the destination of choice for student veteran success,” Smith said. “This support will directly assist countless student veterans in successfully navigating their challenging transitions from the military to campus, and on to their next career.”

Albers founded Albers Aerospace as The Albers Group in 2015, recruiting a team of retired service members and experienced workers to provide high-quality products and services directly to the nation’s military and in collaboration with other private contractors. In 2021, the company topped the Aggie 100 list and was publicly recognized as the fastest-growing Aggie-owned business. Before his private career, Albers graduated from Texas A&M in 1990 and served as a test pilot in the U.S. Marine Corps for 24 years, retiring as a colonel.

“I got to be a colonel because of what I learned at Texas A&M,” Albers said, “and I believe that to whom much is given, much is expected.” Leading up to the gift, Albers and his company collaborated with the VRSC to test an assessment program that would help student veterans more accurately identify their strengths as they enter the civilian workforce. “I wanted to invest in these people who took an oath and were willing to lay down their lives for our country because each of them deserves a chance to make their own impact.”

Tyson Voelkel ’96, president and CEO of the Texas A&M Foundation and a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve, commended Albers and his company for setting a positive philanthropic example for other former students. “This university was founded as a military school and has military ties throughout, so the Aggie community has always welcomed veterans to campus with open arms,” Voelkel said. “But our student veterans deserve more than a warm welcome. They deserve directed resources and support to help them find their footing and opportunities to give back to their country in meaningful ways. John Albers and his team have pulled out all the stops to ensure they find that at Texas A&M.”

“John Albers represents the very best of the Aggie Spirit and our core values,” added Vice President for Student Affairs BG Joe E. Ramirez Jr. ’79, USA (Ret.). “He served our nation with distinction for 24 years in the United States Marine Corps and is now dedicating his time and resources to fellow veterans at Texas A&M—serving those who, like him, have served us all. This generous gift will benefit Aggie veteran students for years to come and will undoubtedly have a lasting impact on their lives. It is a true testament to the commitment to others and selfless service that John Albers demonstrates every day. He is an example for all of us to follow.”

The VRSC plans to use distributions from Albers Aerospace’s gift to create an endowed staff position for a hardworking team member to advise student veterans at Texas A&M and manage the assessment program that Albers helped develop and implement. “We’re not just doing this for the student veterans,” Albers added. “We’re doing it for our kids, our grandkids and our country. There’s only so much we can do in our own little circles, but if we can help these students—who have already demonstrated the willingness to sacrifice for others—to become the best versions of themselves, that impact will ripple throughout future generations.”

Texas A&M Foundation
The Texas A&M Foundation is a nonprofit organization that aspires to be among the most trusted philanthropies in higher education. It builds a brighter future for Texas A&M University, one relationship at a time. To learn more, visit txamfoundation.com.

Media contact: Dunae Reader ’15, dreader@txamfoundation.com

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