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Purpose is inherent to prosperity. To that end, the Mays Development Office is committed to finding a common sense of purpose between stakeholders’ desires and the school’s needs. This intersection creates a win-win situation.
Mays’ approach aligns with Texas A&M’s core value of selfless service. “You can serve in many ways not just financially,” said Stephen Cisneros ’05, Mays’ assistant vice president of development. “While finances are one aspect of our work, it goes much deeper than that. Our purpose is to serve students, Former Students, and the next generation of leaders who are going to advance the world’s prosperity. That may involve speaking to a small group of students, participating in our engagement platform myMays, or – yes – contributing financial resources to the school.”
myMays is the new professional portal to the Mays community for networking, mentorship, and more. As a member, you can connect with other former students in your class, program, city, and industry; mentor/coach others for either short-term or long-term opportunities; search for mentors or coaches yourself; and participate in networking events on campus and online.
Join for free at myMays.tamu.edu
Truly Leading by Example
Mays excels when it comes to developing a common purpose between those desiring to support the school in one or more ways and the school’s needs. From the perspective of financial support, recent contributions to the school demonstrate the existence of a common purpose. During the recent Lead by Example campaign, for example, Mays raised $205 million, an amount exceeding the initial goal of $139 million. “It’s been gratifying to see that type of response and belief in what we are doing at Mays,” Cisneros said.
He credits the campaign’s success to its focus on Mays’ strategic priorities and the needs within those priorities—and then finding the right match for donors. “Through understanding what donors were really, really passionate about, we crafted an opportunity that was specific to that individual or organization,” Cisneros said. “That opportunity was designed to meet their needs and was based on where they were interested in investing.”
A Sense of Teamwork
As the Lead by Example multi-year campaign was winding down during the past year, some new faces joined the Texas A&M Foundation team in the Mays Development Office. In addition to Cisneros, the team’s current members include:
- Julie Chrisler, development assistant
- Debbie Hesse ’85, director of development
- Jennifer Hester ’98, gift planning officer
- Damara Lotten, director of development and corporate relations
- Cassie (Bell) Mahoney ’15, director of development
- Mark Toler ’19, assistant director of development
The team is structured to serve different regions as a foundation for developing deep relationships. “Business tends to be general so even if you’re a finance graduate, you may be passionate about something going on in the accounting, management, information and operations management, or marketing program,” Cisneros said. “We’re evolving constantly to be more intentional with our partners. Right now, the greatest thing we can do with a new team and getting through the pandemic is get out and visit with our partner base. So much of what we are doing is asking thought-provoking questions and then listening.”
Creating a Legacy in Aggieland
Planned giving is ideal for those who wish to make a big impact on Texas A&M without using assets they need during their lifetime. By including the Texas A&M Foundation in your estate plans, you can easily create a legacy of support for future generations of Aggies, potentially receive tax benefits and annual payments for yourself or loved ones, become an exclusive Heritage Member and direct your after-lifetime assets to your Aggieland passions.
See Planned Gifts
Ultimately, the development team’s goal is to identify the overlap between the partner’s area of interest, Mays’ needs, and the specific next step that can be taken. In some cases, that involves a phone call or email to initiate a relationship between a stakeholder and a specific Mays department. In other cases, the Development team may help a donor create a planned gift for years into the future. “When we work with organizations, Former Students, and friends of Texas A&M, we are trying to understand what they are passionate about—what their purpose is—as well as what the needs are of the business school,” Cisneros said. “Everything we do is driven by our donors’ purpose and support in helping the next generation of Aggies – and where those lines intersect, there is incredible prosperity created for everyone involved.”
Connect with the Mays Development team by phone or email.