Since 1990, the Texas A&M Foundation has spearheaded two major capital campaigns and a scholarship initiative for the benefit of Texas A&M University. The first campaign, Capturing the Spirit, was conducted from 1990-1996 and raised more than $600 million. The second campaign, One Spirit One Vision, exceeded its billion-dollar goal by $500 million from 2000-2006. Operation Spirit and MindSM raised $308.2 million from Jan. 2007-Aug. 2011.
What an entrance it was. In typical Aggie fashion, the campaign goal was set at $500 million, at that time the highest campaign goal ever set by a public university. And true to form, Aggies pulled it off, surpassing the goal by 27 percent with the total amount raised at $637,672,587.
The success of Capturing the Spirit brought national attention to A&M; in 1994 and for the first time, the university ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities in terms of private support. A&M President Ray Bowen noted, “We’re a young university to be ranked so high in terms of fundraising.” At that time, A&M had 40,000 former students who were aged 45 years or older—the age range of individuals most likely to make major gifts. By 2015, that number will likely exceed 120,000.
Bowen noted that Capturing the Spirit “has demonstrated what Aggies can do out of their affection for Texas A&M. We have a generational obligation to see that the students we’re graduating now have that same feeling. If we can sustain that spirit, Texas A&M will one day be the beneficiary of a level of support we’ve never imagined.”
One Spirit One Vision
Launched in 2000, the One Spirit One Vision campaign established a fundraising goal of $1 billion. At the time, it was only one of 12 other billion-dollar university campaigns in the United States.
The campaign exceeded its billion-dollar goal 18 months ahead of schedule, and the total reached an astounding $1,502,843,961 by Dec. 31, 2006.
Gifts to the Foundation for the campaign allowed for the creation of 1,900 new scholarships, fellowships, professorships and chairs.
“The One Spirit One Vision campaign confirmed what the Aggie can-do spirit can accomplish for Texas A&M University,” said Jerry Cox '72, presiding campaign chair. “It has made an impact and changed lives, locally and globally. Texas A&M University remains a unique American institution and we have our donors to thank for that.”
Operation Spirit and Mind
In October 2008, the Texas A&M Foundation formally announced the launch of Operation Spirit and MindSM at the President's Endowed Scholarship (PES) reception at Reed Arena. The $300 million Foundation-led initiative for Texas A&M sought to raise private funds for new endowed scholarships and graduate fellowships for Aggie students.
|In August 2011, the Texas A&M Foundation recorded
gifts that buoyed Operation Spirit and MindSM past
its $300 million goal.
Former students and Texas A&M University supporters rallied through trying economic times to help the school surpass the initiative's goal. Individuals, foundations and corporations contributed $308.2 million between Jan. 1, 2007, and Aug. 31, 2011. Read the press release announcing the success of Operation Spirit and Mind.
Cash, stocks and real estate comprised the majority of contributions at about $198.2 million. After-lifetime gifts totaled more than $109.6 million.
Although Operation Spirit and Mind has officially accomplished its original target, the need for private support of Aggie academics continues, and it will remain a cornerstone of future campaign goals.