They came together in twos and fours, grouping with friends new and old and posing for photos outside the Zone Club with Kyle Field in the background. The Singing Cadets serenaded them with traditional songs as, for the second time in history, Texas A&M honored the elbow grease and perseverance of the 100 fastest-growing Aggie-owned and -operated businesses.

It was a new sort of graduation ceremony for the former student representatives of the 2006 Aggie 100. Thatà s how Richard Scruggs, director of the Aggie 100 creator Center for New Ventures and Entrepreneurship, phrased it as he welcomed the companies into the fold. And as Aggie 100 sponsor Balous Miller of Bill Miller BBQ said in welcome to the top-rated company, GEODynamics, Inc: “You have opened the door for game-changing solutions.”

Overall, the top 100 companies posted an average growth rate of 52 percent. And in total, the Aggie 100 provide jobs for 20,000 employees in four countries and generate more than $5 billion in revenue.

The 2006 Aggie 100 includes 35 companies owned or managed by business graduates. Four of the top 10 on the list are run by business school alumni, including Marvin P. Tate II ’75, whose Vernon, Texas, company Marvin Tate Communications ranked No. 4 with a 2-year compounded growth rate of 117.73 percent.

To see who else made the list, visit