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Great Aggie, Great American To Be Remembered

By: Michelle Peltier
By: Michelle Peltier

For his years of service in World War II, his decades of service to his alma mater, and years of leadership in the business world, Leslie L. Appelt will be remembered by many.

To many, Appelt was known, not just as a great Aggie, but as a great American. He died Sunday in his Bastrop home.

In his lifetime, Appelt was honored with many awards including Texas A&M Distinguished Alumnus in 1977. Appelt was inducted into the Corps Hall of Honor in 2000.

Professionally, Appelt most recently developed of a golf course community in Bastrop on State Highway 71 along the Colorado River. He called the location ColoVista, which he made his home.

Appelt was chairman emeritus of Colliers International, a company he founded as Leslie L. Appelt & Associates.

In remembrance of Appelt, a memorial service will be held on campus Friday, April 27. It will begin at 11 a.m. in Auditorium B of the Annenberg Presidential Conference Center. A reception with family members will follow the service in 1011 B & C of the Annenberg Presidential Conference Center.

Texas A&M Interim President Ed Davis issued the following statement upon hearing of Mr. Appelt's death, citing his long and distinguished service to, and support of Texas A&M:

"Speaking on behalf of Texas A&M's 55,000 students, faculty and staff, I am saddened to learn of the passing of Les Appelt, one of the university's most dedicated former students - one who was always willing to give generously of his time and resources, financial and otherwise. Our heartfelt condolences go out to members of Mr. Appelt's family in their great loss - a loss shared by everyone associated with Texas A&M. He was a great Aggie, a great Texan and a great American. He will be sorely missed but never forgotten.

"Mr. Appelt is perhaps best known for being the inspiration and providing the financial resources for Texas A&M's visitor center, now appropriately named the Leslie L. Appelt Aggieland Visitor Center, where literally thousands of people - including prospective students - make their first on-site contact with the university. One of the university's residence halls also bears his name."

"However, so much of what he has done for his alma mater is not widely known; his energetic service and unquestioned commitment to Texas A&M spanned well over a half century. He was active for decades in The Association of Former Students, serving as president of the alumni association in 1971. He served for two full terms on the Board of Trustees of the Texas A&M Foundation, holding numerous key positions, including the chairmanship of its board. He successfully transformed the Texas A&M Foundation from an asset management organization to the major gift arm of Texas A&M, which had two successful comprehensive campaigns. Likewise, he was a longtime supporter of the12th Man Foundation, was a founding donor of the university's transformative President's Endowed Scholarship Program and was a founder and ardent supporter of the Private Enterprise Research Center. Additionally, he was an invaluable counselor to his alma mater's presidents over the years, as well as to chancellors of The Texas A&M University System."

"Few Aggies have been as widely honored by their alma mater as has Mr. Appelt. In addition to having two campus facilities bear his name, he was selected for Distinguished Alumnus recognition more than a quarter-century ago, was one of the early inductees into the Corps of Cadets Hall of Honor and, most recently, was awarded the coveted Sterling C. Evans Medal, which is reserved for recognizing individuals for outstanding contributions to Texas A&M's philanthropic efforts. He personally donated millions of dollars to his alma mater for a variety of programs in which he fervently believed and was instrumental in leading fund-raising efforts among fellow Aggies and other supporters of the institution that he so deeply loved. His personal and institutional support for Texas A&M will pay dividends for decades."


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