The two most common words heard when almost 900 people gathered for the 2018 Scholarship Banquet were “Thank you.” Every scholarship recipient at Mays attends the annual event, which was held in the Hall of Champions at Kyle Field. The donors got to spend time with those they are supporting, and the students got to update some of their biggest supporters on their activities and ambitions. Group photos at the end captured the memories.
Individual and corporate contributions for the fiscal year 2018 generated more than $5.7 million, which in turn provided more than 700 scholarships. These include undergraduate and graduate-level scholarships, fellowships, and tuition support. Donors support a total endowment of more than $22 million.
In his fourth time of emceeing the event, Dean Eli Jones commented on the banquet’s timing to coincide with “Pass It Back Day.” He added: “This is my fourth time to emcee this banquet, and I truly look forward to this event each year. It’s a special time to gather those who give from their hearts because Texas A&M made a significant difference in our lives, and we want to pass it back so that other Aggies can succeed. Thank you for giving.”
And to the scholarship recipients, he advised, “Always remember the role models you see and hear from tonight, and when the time is right for you, pass it back to make a way for others. Selfless service is one of our Aggie core values that we talk about. Giving back is the Aggie way.”
The keynote speakers were Craig Brown ’75, whose generosity through the Craig and Galen Brown Foundation has brought more than 300 National Merit Scholars to Texas A&M University on scholarships; and Amy Sharp ’19, a senior business administration and management major from Conroe who is Texas A&M’s current Student Body President.
Jones said when introducing Brown, “He knows every one of his scholars. He keeps a book of every one of them. He gets as much joy out of giving Brown Scholarships as they get in receiving them.”
Brown told of some of the obstacles he faced during his career and said he is proud of what he has built. He offered a checklist of attributes necessary to succeed: a calculated risk taker, a dreamer, passionate and energetic, self-confident, a leader, and financially capable.
“You must believe in yourself,” he said. “Self-confidence comes in believing and trusting in your ability. And you must have the ability to motivate others and achieve your dreams.”
Sharp thanked the donors who have “selflessly and abundantly supported the students.”
She recalled admiring a speaker at a previous scholarship banquet. “I thought to myself, ‘She’s so cool.’ And now here I stand,” she said. “I am not so cool, but I just love this university and I’m proud to be a future graduate of such a prestigious business school.”