A Penny Gained is a Penny Earned for Two Local Causes

By: Kristen Ross Email
By: Kristen Ross Email

Some may call it superstition, others call it tradition. Either way, some A&M students say it just makes good "cents."

Each year hundreds of Aggies leave a few loose coins at the Sul Ross Statue on campus, hoping for a little extra luck come exam time.

It's a familiar sight and sound this time of year, students with their noses shoved in books, and the clanking of pennies at the foot of the Sul Ross Statue.

"Back when Sul Ross was president he had a phrase, give me a penny for your thoughts," several students said. "What ends up happening is a lot of money ends up on the statue, as you can see it's finals week."

It's become a tradition, Aggies repeat each time a test looms near. Student, after student, after student, paying their respects to a former A&M president, in exchange for a little luck.

"Gives me a little extra confidence going into a test," A&M Student Thomas Gruen said. "He failed me one time."

But where does the money go?

"I'm sure it goes to keeping Sul Ross clean, that's for sure," A&M Student Rushi Dav said.

"It goes to the ring foundation," Gruen said.

"I'm pretty sure it goes to the MSC for student activities," Student Kelvin Singleton said.

So we decided to follow the money trail to see where the dollars and cents really end up.

"Half of the money goes to the Boys and Girls Club of Bryan/College Station, and the other half goes to the scholarship for Aggie rings, for students who can't afford to buy Aggie rings," Derek Nido said.

Derek Nido with the student organization Circle K International, says his group is given the task of collecting up the money students leave behind come test time and divide it up between the two beneficiaries.

"We've seen everything from pennies to little nick nacks to $10 and $20 bills, you get a range," Nido said.

And sometimes you even get credit cards.

Each semester Nido says student donations add up to a couple of hundred dollars.

"I know with the Boys and Girls Club any amount of money donated to them helps, and for Aggie rings. It's a not a lot of money we donate for that-that gets collected but it definitely helps out," Nido said.

Proving a penny for a students thoughts, really does make a difference.

Students with the Circle K International organization have been collecting up the coins on campus for more than five years now. They say in addition to money, some students also leave baked goods, IOU notes, and other memorabilia all in hopes of getting a passing grade on their exam.

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