Show Me the Give - Aggie Network
I can hear the song now... "Hullabaloo caneck caneck" and my smile gets brighter and brighter #WHOOP and an enthusiastic #HOWDY. Forgive me for having my "Maroon Moment". I am a proud Former Student (we don't use the "a" word...alumna) of Texas A&M University (TAMU) at College Station. I proudly earned my Bachelor of Business Administration in 1996 at 21 years old. Having experienced the highs and lows of that time period (death of a parent, making the dean's list, student activist and leader), I felt it was important to stay connect to my former school. No matter the additional education I received from other schools, there will only be one TAMU.
The Aggie Network (www.AggieNetwork.com) is part of the Association of Former Students whose mission is to
- Strengthen the Association of Former Students
- Promote the interests and welfare of Texas A&M University
- Perpetuate ties and esteem formed in university or college days, and
- Serve the student body
The Association is exceptional at connecting Aggies current and former students, including friends of the University. Through fellowship, networking, giving, and goodwill, I have experienced the reward of connection and give back that is a high priority for me. The programs offer an opportunity for Aggie programs to grow in innovative ways. My personal mission was to integrate more people of color students and friends to the University. I felt that my physical presence in events put the walk in my talk of improving diversity & inclusion at Texas A&M. From hosting a weekly radio show in connection with the Black Former Student Network, serving on the leadership committee for the Annual Golf Tournament, or just proudly being an enthusiastic Former Student in the crowd, I wanted to be there to make a difference.
I recall speaking at the Texas Capitol at the Texas House Legislative Committee on Higher Education in 2017. In my testimony on the record I reflected on what being an Aggie meant to me while I advocated in support of a proposed House Bill. Immediately after my testimony concluded, I was suddenly flanked with my newest Aggie family members which included Congress members and school officials. We were bound by the Spirit of Aggieland and it is always on display in a variety of ways. Giving takes work. Yes you can write a check - that's part of the formula. But the Spirit of Aggieland is alive and it takes active participation in a variety of ways. The greatest part is you get to decide your formula and make it work for you.
I elected to join the Century Club at the Endowed level (HERE) because I wanted to make a measurable impact. Every level is an important level (SEE LEVELS HERE). There are benefits you can give and receive at each level. The greatest benefit from my perspective - you are helping the next student in their journey. What I loved about the Association (that I learned after the fact) is that they make some things smooth that you didn't realize. It's funny how we don't notice when things go well - and that's the Association's difference. From supplementing the costs of your Aggie Ring (and that's a beautiful moment), to helping you get connected with your TAMU family no matter where you are in the world, the Association is always ready to serve.
Whether you are a Former Student or a friend of the University, giving makes a difference. The TAMU network is a family and we all need to keep our connection going long after we've crossed that tassel to the left. Connecting with the network creates incredible relationships - business and personal. As you grow in life from your program and beyond, there's always an organized Aggie something to keep you moving in "the Spirit".
Check out the Association of Former Students - I promise everyone you meet will be the friend you just hadn't met yet! Oh and in case you want to hear that Fight Song, here's a link (it's my jam):
The Association of Former Students: www.AggieNetwork.com
Giving Opportunities: www.AggieNetwork.com/GIVING/
Call the Aggie Network: +1 (979) 845-7514
General Info about Texas A&M University: www.TAMU.edu