Kiri (Isaac) Stanford, September 4th, 2019
Editor’s note: I was told of the Lemmons’ story and knew it was one I wanted to hear for myself. Endowment namesakes Billy and Angie bleed maroon. On August 07, 2019, I drove to Northwest San Antonio to sit down with the couple and hear about their time in Aggieland, about why they give to Mays and about all of the life they’ve lived in between.
Billy Lemmons ’83 stops mid-sentence to consult with his wife, Angie ’84, about a memory from yesteryear. “Senior year we took a political science class together,” he says, “I used to wait for her on the bench beneath the Century Tree… It was before the tree got its powers.”
It’s one of the hundreds of memories that the Lemmons have of their time together at Texas A&M. He was a petroleum engineering major; she an accounting major. Their paths crossed one night as undergraduates when their friends all went out on the town together – their eyes widen, and their voices change a bit when they talk about it.
“I remember the day Angie walked into my life,” he recalls, “it just so happened to be when I watched her walk through the doors at Rebels.”
The Lemmons are proud of their Aggie roots and legacy – Billy knows enough Aggie trivia to Stump The Schwab and Angie’s eyes well at a memory.
“My mom had brought me to campus for a tour, and I already knew about some of the Aggie traditions,” she says. “We were walking by the MSC and there was a senior in the Corps in front of us. As I was explaining his tall boots to my mother, he stopped mid-stride. We watched him lean over the grass as far as he could reach to pick up a gum wrapper that was on the MSC lawn. At that moment, I knew that any place where a student was so proud of his campus and cared that much, was a place I wanted to be. That was when I decided to become an Aggie.”
In fact, they loved A&M so much that three years after the pair graduated, Angie quit her job and Billy took a leave of absence so that they could return to Aggieland to earn their MBAs. Angie jokes that you’re supposed to go someplace other than where you get your undergraduate degree to get your MBA, but Billy couldn’t resist another opportunity to watch two more football seasons in Kyle Field.
They’re not the only Aggies in their family. All three of their daughters are Aggies and their smiles stretch ear to ear when they mention Hayley ‘15, Kelsey ‘18, and Avery ‘22. Two of them graduated from Mays and the last will do so in 2022 – all of them with Business Honors, all with numerous engagements with other student organizations. The Lemmons girls won’t be the only Mays grads with Billy and Angie’s support. Countless other students will have the opportunity to graduate as Aggies because of the Lemmons’ generosity.
The Lemmons have two endowed scholarships – one for undergraduates in Business Honors, the other for veterans who come back to campus to earn an MBA.
“It’s our way of helping create opportunities for future generations of Aggies, and assuring that Mays continues to grow in its reputation for developing great business leaders,” Billy explains. Angie adds, “We were so fortunate to attend A&M, twice, and because of the education we received, now have the ability to impact other students’ future the ways ours were through Mays and the MBA program.”
One of Billy’s favorite parts of the endowments is the thank you letters. “We have met many of [the endowment recipients] over the years and always look forward to reading the thank you notes we receive,” Billy says excitedly. “It’s incredible to learn the individual stories of the scholarship recipients. We keep all the notes and have shared many of them with our girls.” Angie echoes the sentiment.
Billy and Angie both proudly note that giving back is how they were raised and it’s consistent with the Aggie Core Value of Selfless Service – one they take very seriously.
“Along the way, so many people have helped me that had no real vested interest in my future: they were friends and acquaintances that for some reason took an interest in me. It would be impossible for me to list them all and the only way I can even try to pay it back is by doing the same for others,” Billy gushes.
The Lemmons have a home in College Station, and Billy, an avid runner, jogs a route of nostalgia when he is in Aggieland. His route passes by his old bus stop, a memorial oak tree for his late parents (dedicated by his business partner and friend Jack ‘72 and Michele Lafield), and the Petroleum Engineering building. Angie adds in “the Century Tree” to which Billy nods in agreement. Their love for this community is evident in the way they beam when they talk about it.
“We love Texas A&M and are so grateful that God made us Aggies! Nearly everything of significance in our life is somehow connected to our Aggie experience – so this is our way to give back.”
Billy and Angie Lemmons established their endowments in 2015. To date, four Aggies have been recipients of Lemmons funded scholarships and countless more will follow. To get more information on what it takes to pay it forward like Billy and Angie, contact Stephen Cisneros at firstname.lastname@example.org.