COLLEGE STATION, Texas, Nov. 5, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Committed to leading by example, Texas A&M University announced today the launch of a $4 billion comprehensive campaign to address major societal challenges facing the state, nation and world. It is the largest fund-raising endeavor ever undertaken in Texas, and only one other public university in the nation has ever announced a higher goal.
The multi-year campaign—themed "Lead By Example"— is aimed at providing adequate resources to help solve a variety of "real world" problems, Texas A&M President Michael K. Young said in making the announcement. He said the campaign is essential to provide financial resources not currently available for these endeavors and would only be forthcoming in the future with private support.
"This is a bold initiative, but Aggies are known for bold leadership," Young said. "We see what we have built since our opening in 1876 as the state's first public institution of higher learning, and we know that we can contribute even more moving forward. Everywhere I go, I hear a common refrain: This is our time."
Young, who assumed the Texas A&M presidency earlier this year, said the university's faculty, staff and students—past and present—have proven they can achieve academic excellence and proactively address daunting problems while upholding the institution's values, traditions and land-grant heritage.
"Our academic programs are among the best in the nation and world," Young said. "But academics alone don't make leaders. We instill leadership qualities in our students through transformative opportunities to work alongside professors in research with real-world impact, through core values that include excellence and selfless service, and through more than a thousand student-run clubs and organizations."
He pointed out that Texas A&M is one of the largest and most diversified higher education institutions in the nation and already has worldwide impact. Texas A&M's annual investment in research—supported to a large extent by external grants —now totals more than $850 million, the most for any Texas institution and among the top universities nationally. It has a 3,500-member faculty and enrolls more than 64,000 students, including almost 15,000 pursuing graduate or professional degrees. In global outreach, it has formal agreements and other forms of affiliation with 184 institutions in more than 35 countries and on every continent of the world.
"From now through 2020, former students and friends of the university are uniting with our faculty and staff in the Lead by Example campaign to enhance Texas A&M's ability to tackle our world's problems while also preparing future generations of uniquely qualified leaders," Young explained.
Funds derived from the campaign will provide scholarships to enable Texas A&M to compete even more effectively for the best students and help the university recruit and retain more internationally recognized faculty by supporting their research and teaching, he added.
Also, Young noted the additional funding will help provide the best possible facilities to encourage creativity and innovation, and provide access to cutting-edge technology that will keep Texas A&M students and faculty at the forefront of their disciplines.
He said a portion of the funding derived from the campaign will be used to provide support for Texas A&M's athletic programs through more scholarships for student-athletes, enhanced facilities and other resources that will help the university advance in the ranks of the U.S. universities with premier athletic programs.
The Lead By Example campaign is proactively supported by the Texas A&M Foundation, the organization responsible for seeking major gifts benefiting the university; The Association of Former Students, the university's 436,000-member alumni organization; the 12th Man Foundation, which provides support for the university's student-athletes and related endeavors; and the George Bush Presidential Library Foundation, the entity that functions in association with the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum, which is located on the Texas A&M campus.
The Lead By Example campaign is scheduled to run through 2020, the year that marks the formal conclusion of the university's 20-year "Vision 2020" long-range roadmap to help position Texas A&M as one of the nation's foremost public institutions of higher learning.
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SOURCE Texas A&M University