The Texas A&M Foundation welcomed 17 new members to the fifth class of its student ambassadors organization, the Maroon Coats. New members received a signature maroon blazer during an induction ceremony held on March 29 at the Jon L. Hagler Center, home of the Texas A&M Foundation.
Maroon Coats enhance the impact of the foundation by thanking donors for their gifts and interacting with them at special events. They also provide a student perspective during fundraising meetings and host donors or friends of the Foundation on campus visits. The group consists of Texas A&M student leaders involved in a diverse range of activities and pursuing various educational disciplines. Each member volunteers a minimum of 20 hours each semester.
“Since the Maroon Coats were formed in 2008, they have become the identifiable link between Aggie donors and the incredible benefit they provide to Aggie students,” said Foundation President Ed Davis. “Maroon Coats elevate awareness and understanding of the Texas A&M Foundation and emphasize the importance of philanthropy as the fuel of future excellence at Texas A&M.”
Candidates underwent a three-part selections process that started the first week of the spring semester. Current Maroon Coats first reviewed 160 applications in January. Sixty students moved on to the next stage: two socials held at the foundation to simulate an event in which Maroon Coats interact with donors.
Foundation staff and current Maroon Coats evaluate applicants on five criteria: well-intentioned; suited for the organization’s purpose; passion, zeal and conviction; visibility; and demographic balance. Forty finalists continued to be judged against those criteria through interviews. Current Maroon Coats made the final selections by secret ballot Feb. 17.
“We received a lot of exceptional applicants this year, which made the selection process difficult,” said Maroon Coats President Emma Fisher. “In the end, we looked for students who are strong leaders, involved with other campus organizations, and enthusiastic about A&M and their service as Maroon Coats.”
Fisher, who will graduate in May with a degree in chemical engineering, said the Maroon Coat experience is educational and rewarding. “Interacting with donors and loyal friends of Texas A&M is priceless,” she said. “Every Aggie has a unique story to share about their time here. I wouldn’t trade the relationships I’ve built through Maroon Coats for anything.”
New Maroon Coats are:
- Andrew Abbott ’14, a petroleum engineering major from Midland, Texas
- Leslie Bergamo ’13, a business major from Katy, Texas
- Justin Cardenas ’13, a biomedical science major from Dallas
- Shelby Cowart ’13, a liberal arts major from Nacogdoches, Texas
- James Havlock ’13, a chemical engineering major from Garland, Texas
- Shahrum Iqbal ’12, an electrical engineering major from Houston
- Kyle Jackson ’12, a business major from Mansfield, Texas
- Caroline Janssen ’14, a business major from Georgetown, Texas
- Reid Joseph ’14, an industrial distribution major from Springdale, Ark.
- Sterling Knapp ’14, a business major from College Station, Texas
- Clayton Kruger ’12, a biomedical science major from College Station, Texas
- Ben Riner ’14, a civil engineering major from Conway, Ark.
- Steven Spriggs ’13, a business major from Lawton, Okla.
- Tyler Stewart ’13, a biomedical science major from Lorena, Texas
- Laura Terrell ’13, an education major from Dallas
- Emily Walker ’13, an education major from Dallas
- Jeff Wu ’13, a business major from Houston
For more information about the Maroon Coats, contact Shannon Zwernemann, Maroon Coat adviser, at (979) 845-8161 ext. 190.
To learn more about scholarships, fellowships, and other academic- and student program-focused giving to benefit Texas A&M University, contact the Texas A&M Foundation at email@example.com, (800) 392-3310, or visit giving.tamu.edu.
Media contact: Megan Kasperbauer, Texas A&M Foundation, (979) 845-8161, ext. 216