Happy HolidaysMICHAEL K. YOUNG
December 21, 2017
Dear students, faculty and staff,
As I reflect on our progress this past year, I am so pleased with the outstanding impact our university has had on the state, nation and world.
National recognition for academic excellence and service was evident on all fronts. We broke into the top 20 (No. 19) on the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Ed list for the first time ever for best public universities. Washington Monthly declared Texas A&M the No. 4 best university in the country in a ranking based on contribution to the public good. Money Magazine ranked us No. 8 in the nation on the “Best Colleges for Big Paychecks” on return on investment for students. I am so humbled and grateful to our outstanding faculty, staff and students who make these designations possible.
Thanks to the generosity and dedication of so many, we are well on our way at $2.8 billion to meeting our ambitious $4 billion by 2020 campaign goal as part of Lead By Example. Support raised through this campaign will allow Texas A&M to continue its mission of providing a world-class education that is affordable, conduct cutting-edge research that will better our world, and bring top-tier faculty to our campus.
This was the first year that Texas A&M exhibited at the South by Southwest Interactive Conference in Austin, TX, which was truly a global event. This forum allowed us to showcase thought leaders and amazing research and innovations. Not to mention, we had a blast!
We know that the true character of Texas A&M is evident not only in fun times but also in how we triumph in challenging times. I am so proud of all of you throughout College Station, Galveston and Qatar campuses in how you responded to the devastation of Hurricane Harvey. Together with our family of schools throughout the university system, we showed the world the meaning of selfless service. This included acts of heroism, camaraderie felt from far away at our Qatar campus in a student fundraiser, and here on campus in providing a relief fund for current students and employees affected. I think the team captured it best in this amazing video featuring Aggies.
What an honor it was in October for our campus to host every living former U.S. President – Presidents Bush 41, Carter, Clinton, Bush 43 and Obama at Reed Arena for the “Deep from the Heart: The One America Appeal” concert which raised $2.6 million for hurricane relief efforts in Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum celebrated its 20th anniversary. In its two decades on our campus, the museum has welcomed three million visitors and reached hundreds of thousands of children with educational programming.
Of course so many other wonderful developments occurred on our campus this year – too many to name here, but no less important.
I thank you all for your hard work, service and dedication to Texas A&M this and every year.
May your holiday break be filled with family, friends and relaxation.
I wish you happy holidays and a wonderful new year!
Michael K. Young