The Texas A&M Foundation on Thursday and Friday (March 7-8) honored members of the A&M Legacy Society, a group composed of individuals, corporations and organizations who have donated $100,000 or more in support of the university or made provisions in their estate plans for gifts to support Texas A&M University. The events celebrated the 25th anniversary of the prestigious group.
“The impact these donors have on Texas A&M is far-reaching and profound,” said Ed Davis, president of the Texas A&M Foundation. “Legacy Society members believe in the important work of our faculty, the potential of our students and the value of higher education. Their contributions are truly transforming lives.”
The two-day A&M Legacy Society celebration included a gala on Thursday evening and will include a breakfast, college tours and luncheon on Friday. Nearly 600 people attended Thursday’s gala at the Bethancourt Family Grand Ballroom in the Memorial Student Center, including 165 new A&M Legacy Society members, the Foundation’s Board of Trustees and Texas A&M President R. Bowen Loftin.
Supporting Texas A&M allows Bonnie and James Creel of Fort Worth “to help ensure that students will be trained as leaders and problem-solvers of the future.” The Foundation recently invited the Creels to join the A&M Legacy Society after the couple established the Bonnie R. ’10 and James A. Creel ’69 Fellowship to support a full-time Ph.D. student in communication.
“We created the fellowship because having an excellent graduate program in the College of Liberal Arts is essential for Texas A&M to be competitive in attracting top grad students,” said Bonnie Creel, who returned to school at age 50 to earn a doctorate in communication while teaching five classes a semester at Tarrant County College. “This, in turn, is essential to being perceived nationally as a top-tier university.”
“An education at Texas A&M is invaluable and provides an excellent return on investment," said Jim Creel. "Following from that education, a commitment of time and money to this respected institution is a logical progression and has been very satisfying.”
In total, A&M Legacy Society donors have given more than $2.2 billion to support Texas A&M. Membership results from giving through any of four Texas A&M fundraising organizations: the Texas A&M Foundation, The Association of Former Students, the 12th Man Foundation and the George Bush Presidential Library Foundation.
The Texas A&M Foundation also honors Legacy Society members by inscribing their names on walls and glass panels in Legacy Hall in the Jon L. Hagler Center. In addition, the south wall of the building is reserved for those who have given $5 million or more to support Texas A&M. This year, the names of Alice and Erle Nye and Olive and T. Michael O’Connor were added to this distinguished list.