Development Newsletter Summer 2017



Update on “Wave of Change”

The time has finally arrived! As of August 1st, Academic Complex Phase 1 is complete and ready for occupancy. By the time you read this, the beautiful facility will be occupied by the Chief Operating Officer, Provost, Chief Financial Officer, Development, and Academic Operations offices, along with classrooms, laboratories and numerous soft learning spaces. This state-of-the-art facility will support a variety of learning uses, including formal lecture delivery, open study environments and 21st century hands-on instruction in chemistry, physics and geographic information systems labs. Within these spaces, our students and faculty can tackle complex issues facing the marine and maritime worlds.

Along with Academic Complex Phase 1, the Waterfront Pavilion & Amphitheater, located on the southeast side of campus overlooking the beautiful Galveston harbor will also be opening in September 2017. The building will restore valuable waterfront event space that was lost during the reconstruction of the campus marina and will include a multipurpose room that will accommodate 150 people in banquet seating and nearly 275 people in theater seating. Unique to this new building will be its indoor/outdoor capability. Much of the glass exterior windows will be designed to fold which will extend the indoor space outdoors to an open-air deck that will accommodate an additional 50-100 seats, depending on event setup. In addition, the project will also include an outdoor amphitheater that can further extend the space of the pavilion, or also be used as a separate venue for outdoor events.

Next time you are in the Galveston area, we encourage you to visit our beautiful campus and see the great physical progress the Galveston campus of Texas A&M University is making! There are plenty of naming opportunities available.

Please visit: www.tamug.edu/develop/Campaigns/AcademicComplex.html


Academic Complex Phase 1


Waterfront Pavilion & Amphitheater


Academic Complex Phase 2




First Very Large Crude Carrier docks with Texas A&M Maritime Academy graduate as the pilot

It’s big!  Really, really big.  It is the biggest oil tanker ever to call on a Gulf of Mexico port – holding as much as 2 million barrels of crude oil – and it was piloted recently into port by Captain Jay Rivera ‘98, a graduate of the Texas A&M Maritime Academy at Texas A&M University at Galveston.

The ship, named Anne, docked safely at the Oxy Ingleside Energy Center at the Port of Corpus Christi.  It is called a VLCC (Very Large Crude Carrier) with a length of 1100 feet and 200 feet wide.

“It was a very challenging maneuver to bring such a large vessel in a narrow, confined waterway,” said Rivera. “It has been the largest ship I've piloted in my career.”

This docking was a major milestone for Texas ports proving that a Texas port can export the state’s oil using a VLCC ship.  “It will redefine the export of American energy worldwide by lowering the transportation costs per barrel of oil being shipped,” said Rivera.  He says, as of now a VLCC ship has not called upon the ports of Houston or Galveston.  “But I suspect the questions will be asked of those pilot groups soon,” said Rivera.

Rivera graduated from Texas A&M Galveston in May of 1998 and sailed on U.S. flag chemical and product tankers all the way to getting his Master license.  After sailing as Master he applied and was accepted to the Aransas-Corpus Christi Pilots in 2005 and has been a harbor pilot for 12 years.

“The education I received at Texas A&M Galveston was crucial to the success of my maritime career,” said Rivera.  “I'm very grateful to all the wonderful people at Texas A&M Galveston that helped me along the way. I have many fond memories of my time there.  The only thing I don't miss are the mosquitoes.”

As a constituent network of The Association of Former Students, Texas A&M University (AFS), the Sea Aggie Former Student Network relies heavily on the staff at AFS to support our endeavors and maintain our contact records. Please go to www.aggienetwork.com to create an account and update your contact info if you have not done so already. We also encourage you to support the Aggie Network since they support ours! Please pass this on to every Aggie you know! Please visit us at http://seaaggies.aggienetwork.com to see what the organization is planning for this year.

Stay tuned and be on the lookout for regular emails from the Sea Aggie Former Student Network. Gig 'em!

The George P. Mitchell Society is comprised of individuals and organizations committed to the well-being of our oceans through maritime and marine research, education and training as conducted at the only maritime university on the gulf coast’s premier ocean front, Texas A&M University at Galveston. Christened in honor of George Phydias Mitchell, fighting Texas Aggie class of 1940. The society’s function is to aid in the bolstering of the mission of Texas A&M University at Galveston. Your patronage boosts the entire university to beyond that which could be achieved with state and other traditional means alone. For more information on membership into the George P. Mitchell Society, please visit www.tamug.edu/develop/Campaigns/MitchellSociety.html


Contact Us:

Jason W. Morton '04, M.Ed., '10, Manager of Development Communications
Rick Kline, Senior Director of Development
Alice Maffay, Development Business Coordinator


For how to give, please contact Rick Kline at:
rkline@txamfoundation.com
For questions about gift processing, please contact Alice Maffay at:
maffaya@tamug.edu
For newsletter inquiries, please contact Jason W. Morton at:
jwmorton@tamug.edu

A message from your Texas A&M University at Galveston (TAMUG) Development Office

Rick Kline, Senior Director of Development

Howdy and Happy Summer. Once again, in this edition of the TAMUG Development newsletter, you'll have the opportunity to read about highlights of Texas A&M University at Galveston, and read articles about some of the many supporters of our campus, our Former Students and faculty members.

I am pleased to have had many opportunities to accompany both Colonel Michael Fossum (TAMUG COO / Texas A&M University Vice President) and RADM Michael Rodriguez (Texas A&M Maritime Academy Superintendent) on numerous visits to campus supporters both in the Galveston Island / Houston regions and throughout the United States. Both were on hand to greet guests of the university for receptions and ship tours of the T/S General Rudder in the ports of Corpus Christi, Port Canaveral, Mobile and New Orleans (see more in this newsletter about our port calls). The opportunity to tour the General Rudder and meet our Maritime Academy cadets, Rudder's Captain Pierson, and the crew is a thrill for our guests. Our students, faculty and staff play such an important role in the success of our campus. It's an honor to have them be part of the interacting we do with our supporters throughout the year.

As mentioned in our Spring 2017 newsletter, the Galveston campus is a huge part of "Lead by Example", Texas A&M University's third comprehensive campaign. The "Lead by Example" campaign has a goal of $4 billion and is currently seeking gifts in three major areas: Transformational Learning; Discovery and Innovation; and Impact on the State, Nation, and World. Visit http://leadbyexample.tamu.edu/ to learn more about the Lead by Example campaign. At TAMUG, your support of the above three major areas via gifts for students, facilities, programs and faculty are important. Here are some examples of how your generosity affects our campus:

  • Because of donor support, over 50% of TAMUG students receive some level of financial aid. However, even more students can benefit by your increased willingness to support our future leaders through scholarships.

  • The Galveston campus is focusing on further developing our academic facilities to accommodate the growing student population. Your generosity is vital. Included in funding priorities are a new training vessel to accommodate the training needs of the Texas A&M Maritime Academy's Corp of Cadets, a new Student Life Center, enhancements to both our bluewater and brownwater ship simulation capabilities and a new Immersive Scholarship Learning Environment (ISLE) building. In addition, the Texas A&M University at Galveston Excellence Fund has been established, supporting campus strategic development through naming opportunities.

  • Just three instances of TAMUG programs seeking funding include the Sea Life Facility, the Seafood Safety Lab, (see more in "Faculty Spotlight" on Dr. Schwarz) and our Center for Texas Beaches and Shores (CTBS). To learn more about these and our other research programs, visit http://www.tamug.edu/research/Centers%20Labs/. The CTBS is dedicated to the conservation and protection of the Texas shorelines, bays and waterways through innovative research. A gift to endow the CTBS will provide a foundation of support for the center to conduct research and support faculty and students in their efforts on coastal protection initiatives like the Ike Dike.

  • One of our primary objectives is to ensure that Texas A&M University at Galveston can recruit and retain leading faculty who excel in their areas of research and can propel this campus to the forefront of academics. Therefore, through endowments, your generosity can go a long way to bring top professors and chairs to our campus.

Texas A&M University at Galveston and the Texas A&M Foundation are extraordinarily grateful for the ongoing support of our Former Students and the corporations, foundations, parents and friends whose generosity continues to enable our student and faculty to excel. I continue to be inspired to experience the various ways that we all share that deep passion for the sea. We hope that you continue your generous support of Texas A&M University at Galveston. To learn more about how you can be a part of the effort, please visit our website at www.tamug.edu/develop/. The Texas A&M University at Galveston Development office always welcomes your visits, phone calls, and emails. Thank you.


Sincerely,

Rick Kline
Senior Director of Development at Texas A&M University at Galveston
Texas A&M Foundation – LEAD BY EXAMPLE




Interviews


"Where are they Now", Former Student Spotlight: Sepp Haukebo '06

In this edition of our "Where are they Now", our Former Student Spotlight, we had the opportunity to sit down with Marine Biology graduate and fighting Texas Aggie class of 2006, Sepp Haukebo. Sepp is an Environmental Engineer with Flint Hills Resources in Corpus Christi, TX.

Sepp Haukebo

Can you talk a bit about your background and connection to Texas A&M University at Galveston?

"I grew up in the mountains of New Mexico, which at the time, was worlds away from a barrier island on the coast of Texas. However, spending significant time in the outdoors as a kid instilled a passion to pursue a life of exploration and discovery. I was fortunate enough in my younger years to travel with family to lesser known coastal locales, camping with hammocks and tents on foreign beaches, snorkeling reefs and lagoons. I quickly developed an affinity for the underwater world. In high school, I began to ask about universities with a strong marine science program and TAMUG was always at the top of the list. Scripps, Woods Hole Institute, and TAMUG were always the top 3 responses. TAMUG offered the most scholarships and base tuition was a fraction of the cost, so Galveston was a natural choice. After starting classes, it took some time to realize that the professors I was learning from were world renowned. As a freshman, most folks don't care about how many peer reviewed publications their profs have but by your senior year, the gravity settles in and you realize that the same folks grading your final exams will be leaving in a few days to speak at a global gathering for specialists in their field. After obtaining a Bachelor's and Master's from TAMUG, I can attest to the academic prowess of the university and look back in thanks to the people who directed me to Galveston so many years ago."

While attending the Galveston campus, you studied Marine Biology. Talk a bit about what you studied and how that has prepared you for what you're doing today.

"As a lifelong fisherman, my initial focus was Marine Fisheries but I also became interested in the more detailed courses like Cell Biology and Comparative Physiology. Learning to dive into the weeds in those classes has helped me to dive into state and federal regulations in my current position as an environmental engineer. After my master's degree, I spent a year in Washington D.C. as a Knauss Marine Science Policy Fellow, a competitive national program that several Sea Aggies have successfully been awarded. I'll never forget when my fellowship class met with former astronaut and at that time the administrator of NOAA, Dr. Kathy Sullivan. She told us that marine scientists make incredible assets in any organization because they possess the mental capacity to learn complex processes and they have determination to solve complex issues, regardless of the subject. In that same year, I was in a meeting with folks from the State Department and when I mentioned that I used to study under Jay Rooker, they told me they used much of his Bluefin tuna research to shape international fisheries policy in the Atlantic, another reminder of TAMUG's prestige. While I still use some of my textbooks from a few classes at TAMUG it is the process of investigation and complex problem solving that enable me to create value in my current role in private industry."

While attending Texas A&M University at Galveston, what was your favorite class and who was the most influential person on your life (faculty, staff or otherwise)?

"That's a tough one. In a weird way, Cell Biology was one of my favorite classes. Dr. Kanz had the students using the same textbook that the medical students were using at UTMB and as juniors we were studying as in depth as those folks. Any diagram or level of detail was fair game on his pop-quizzes and demented exams. We were expected to learn on a pace and level that was not seen in many other undergraduate courses, even across all the other majors at TAMUG. Dr. Kanz had a unique way of testing that forced you to learn principles and patterns that could be applied to any problem, almost like a mathematician. His exams also taught you to learn people, much like anyone today has to learn their peers or supervisors at work, in order to predict expectations and excel in the class. Of course, I'll always have great memories of Dr. Iliffe's Scientific Diving class. Aside from training at the Naval academy, his program is one of the most rigorous at any university in the U.S. Plus, getting to dive in underwater caverns is a rewarding experience. Spooky, but it definitely expands your mind. Lastly Dr. Rooker was a tremendous influence in my undergrad and graduate work. His continual support and approachable demeanor left a lasting impression on me. Whenever I get pigeon-holed into working in the weeds in my current role, I think about some of my conversations with Jay and remind myself that it's important to keep an eye on the big picture. Lives and careers are naturally on winding paths but it always helps to stick your head above the cattails and see what might be around the bend."

In closing, what would you tell a young high school senior who is contemplating attending the Galveston campus of Texas A&M University, why this campus and the surrounding community of Galveston is so wonderful? In your words, and based on your experiences, why should he or she attend this University?

"TAMUG offers students the ability to be in the water or on the water almost every day of the week. In addition to learning from world class professors in the classroom, anyone that demonstrates a good work ethic and a strong will to learn can find internship opportunities abound: driving skiffs in the bay investigating invasive species, or performing water quality investigations on waters in the Arctic, or running data analytics aboard research cruises in the Gulf, or diving reefs in the Caribbean, or conducting ecological assessments on marine mammals in New Zealand; the possibilities are endless. And as the demand for STEM professional continues to grow over the next decade, especially in a world that is connected via our oceans, a degree in Marine Biology or any other marine related field, is just a license to drive. With a little luck and a lot of hard work, you can pursue any career at home or around the world. I know former classmates that now work on science policy in DC, fisheries conservation in Colorado, ecotourism in Australia, and even cancer research in Houston. The possibilities for Sea Aggies are as expansive as the waters they study."




"Faculty Spotlight": Dr. John R. Schwarz


Left to right: William J. Wardle, James E. Kanz, Sammy M. Ray, John R. Schwarz, Tai-soo Park, Steve K. Alexander, James W. Webb

In this edition of our "Faculty Spotlight", we caught up with Regents Professor, Principal Investigator and Marine Biology Department Head of the Galveston campus of Texas A&M University Dr. John Schwarz. Dr. Schwarz was kind enough to visit with us on a range of topics that span a tremendously successful 41 year career of service in higher education to the Galveston campus. Dr. Schwarz is retiring in September and has been cherished and loved by any all he has come into contact with and has shaped the lives of countless students that had the opportunity to study under him.

Can you talk a bit, if you will, about where you're from and how you got to the Galveston campus of Texas A&M University?

"I grew up in northern New Jersey (Clifton), 15 miles to the west of NYC and after high school, attended and graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY with a BS in 1967 and a PhD in 1972. I had originally started college as a nuclear physics major, but soon fell in love with biology in general and molecular biology in particular.

I moved to the University of Maryland in College Park, MD in fall 1972 for a three-year postdoctoral research fellowship with Dr. Rita R. Colwell. She later became the Director of the National Science Foundation under President Clinton. I worked on the effects of low temperatures and high pressure on deep sea bacteria. I began what would eventually lead to 287 days at sea aboard research vessels during my career. I applied for several academic positions in the spring of 1975, one of which was based at the Galveston campus of Texas A&M University, known then as Moody College of Marine Sciences and Maritime Resources (MCMSMR or Moody College). The late Dr. Sammy M. Ray was the first person I met after stepping off the plane at Scholes Field in Galveston for my interview visit during the 4th of July weekend. Little did I know at the time that this was to be the beginning of a long friendship with the founder of the Texas A&M's marine presence in Galveston. Dr. Ray offered me the position of Assistant Professor at Moody College to teach both genetics and microbiology each semester, something I did for over 30 years beginning in January of 1976. I have been here for the graduation of every student who has received a MARB and/or MARF degree from Texas A&M."

Can you talk a bit about the Seafood Safety Lab and its great importance to the gulf coast?

"I have been fortunate to have been awarded over $5.35M in research funding during my time at TAMUG. During the first 15 years in Galveston, my research was devoted to open ocean studies on how various bacteria produce and metabolize compounds in shallow and deep marine waters. Beginning in 1989, I started to study bay and coastal bacteria, primarily those associated with shellfish and oysters in particular. Several bacterial species of the genus Vibrio are responsible for causing human illness and in a few cases even death. Susceptible high risk individuals are those who have a reduced ability to fight off infections following the consumption of raw or undercooked shellfish or open wound contact with seawater. Generally, the high risk individual is one with reduced liver function caused by hepatitis or cirrhosis of the liver. Our laboratory became first certified by the US FDA in 1992 for the examination of seawater and shellfish. We have maintained this certification since that time and are the only so qualified facility in Texas outside of the State of Texas Health laboratory. We currently conduct oyster analyses for most Gulf Coast post-harvest treatment oyster processors from Texas to Florida. Post-harvest treatment of oysters using irradiation, quick freezing, high pressure or mild heat shock reduces the presence of the potentially-harmful Vibrio bacteria to a safe level for the high risk person."

What is the best part about working with young passionate Sea Aggies in the Marine Biology Department?

"Having been at TAMUG for almost forty-two years, I have taught microbiology and/or genetics to all MARB/MARF students who have graduated (or not graduated). Much has changed for both the students and faculty. In 1975, we were still using typewriters for producing letters and mimeo machines to make copies, a messy and/or time-consuming processes. The best part of being an educator all these years has been the opportunity to evolve along with the students. Having to keep up with the students, be it their social communication or with new ways to present lectures or the ever-changing computer capabilities has kept me "young" at heart. While never quite fully keeping up with the students, I have had to find ways to continually challenge and maintain my students' attention. Engaging with students is probably the best part. It has required that I evolve along with each new group of students."

You are retiring soon from the Galveston campus. What would you tell your younger self coming in as a brand new bushy eyed tenured professor on January 1, 1976?

"I am just retiring from my administrative position as Department Head and reducing my effort to half-time. I will still be teaching the microbiology class, interacting with the activities of the Seafood Safety Lab, advising undergraduates and being the departmental advisor for the MARB IDP MS degree non-thesis option graduate students. One thing I would tell a younger self coming on board is to listen before speaking. Much can be learned from others if we would just open our minds to the thoughts of others."

What do you plan to do with more time on your hands, and what will you miss most about the time you spent here with Texas A&M University at Galveston?

"I still plan to be on campus every day, but will have more free time since I won't be responsible for the daily activities of the Marine Biology Department. I will be doing teaching, research and advising without the meetings, reports and planning required of a Department Head. When I eventually do completely retire from academia, I will miss interacting with students most. I will have more time to garden, grow my peaches, limes and oranges. I can spend more time with the grandchildren and maybe travel a bit more. I need to keep busy, to continually challenge the mind. As is often said, if you don't use it, you lose it."


"Donor Spotlight": Galveston County A&M Mothers' Club

Connie Marquez – Past President
Renae Turnbaugh – Current President

In this edition of our “Donor Spotlight”, we profile two exceptional women who, along with so many more like them, donate countless hours and raise ample amounts of financial assistance for our young Sea Aggies – Mrs. Connie Marquez (former president) and Mrs. Renae Turnbaugh (current president) of the Galveston County A&M Mothers’ Club. These mothers, and countless others just like them, in clubs just like this one all across the country provide a civil service unique and unrivaled by any other university across the country. We had an opportunity to visit with these ladies regarding Connie and Renae‘s involvement with the Galveston campus of Texas A&M University, and endowing their first ever scholarship for the campus.

Please talk a little bit about the Galveston County A&M Mothers’ Club, its history, and its connection to both the main campus as well as the Galveston campus of Texas A&M University.

“The Galveston Island Aggie Moms Club began in 1961 with the Mainland Mothers Club forming in 1976.  The two clubs merged in the late ‘90’s to form the Galveston County Aggie Mothers Club.  Since the beginning, our club has served the university and students on both campuses, with scholarships and support.  We proudly work alongside the TAMUG administration with events like New Student Conferences, Sea Aggie Previews, Big Event, Muster and Family Weekend. Our purpose status: By individual and united effort to contribute in every way to the comfort and welfare of the students, and to cooperate with the faculty of the University in maintaining a high standard of moral conduct and intellectual achievement.”  

You both are current and past Presidents of the Galveston Aggie Moms’ Club, please describe what that means to you, as well as what it means to volunteer your time and serve this great university.

“Being President is challenging yet rewarding. We are challenged to mentor new families into this unexplainable life change called ‘college’ and encourage parents throughout their time with us. Having fun while serving enhances event success, and we have some fun!!  Sharing the fruits of our fundraising labor is a reward like no other.  Volunteering over the last 5 years, has blessed me with not only meeting and working with some incredible students, but making lifelong friends with other Aggie Moms that share a kindred bond.  I too, have made wonderful friends with many who work at TAMUG.  I am forever changed because of the wonderful people I have been surrounded by, for that, I am grateful.”

Now that the Galveston County Aggie Moms’ Scholarship is fully funded, talk a bit about the scholarship, specifically as it pertains to being intended for a Galveston County native.

“Our goal, when creating the endowment, was to support local students in our zip code area, that attend the College Station and Galveston campus. Proudly, we paid the endowment off a year early and included an additional $1,000.00 so it could pay out next year.  Additionally, we offer scholarships to students, that are not native to Galveston, in an effort to be of full support to all students in the university.”

You have attended and represented the Galveston County Aggie Moms Club at the past two endowed scholarship receptions, talk a bit about what it means to you and your organization to have the first recipient of your scholarship present this year and get to meet and congratulate that special student.

“We have been honored to attend the previous receptions and enjoy seeing the grateful recipients meet up with their supporters. This year will be very special, as we gather with folks that have the same love of ‘Aggies’ and share the same passion to help students achieve their goals.  Our unique endowment enables us to bless a student on both the Galveston and College Station campuses. We are beside ourselves with excitement, to meet up with our recipients.”  

In closing, as proud Aggie moms and great contributors to the spirit of Aggieland, what would you tell prospective students on what coming to this great university is like? Both on main campus as well as here on the Galveston campus.

“To the prospective student: Strap in, it’s going to be a hell of a ride! The spirit of Aggieland begins with the traditions that will soon become a part of who you are. No matter which campus you choose to attend, rest assured, you will become part of the Aggie family which our Tradition Council shares the following: "From the outside looking in, you can't understand it. And from the inside looking out, you can't explain it."  No other university can offer you a lifetime of family like the Aggie Network via the Association of Former Students of Texas A&M University. Welcome aboard!”



Events/Giving/Stewardship


2017 TS General Rudder Port Calls

The TS General Rudder made its triumphed return to sea for the 2017 Texas A&M University at Galveston summer cruise season. Every summer over 350 license option cadets from the Maritime Transportation, Marine Engineering Technology and Maritime Administration departments set sail for hands on practical training aboard various training vessels across the nation. Forty-five of the top qualified skilled cadets have the opportunity to sail the Gulf of Mexico on Texas A&M’s own TS General Rudder.

This year, the university’s new Chief Operating Officer, Col. Mike Fossum ‘80, along with new Superintendent of the Texas A&M Maritime Academy, RADM Mike Rodriguez and various members of the TAMUG leadership and faculty members met the training vessel and its cadets at four prominent port stops throughout the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. Stops included, Corpus Christi, TX, Port Canaveral, FL, Mobile, AL, and New Orleans, LA.

During each visit, Col. Fossum, along with RADM Rodriguez met with various media outlets to spread the good bull and great successful growth of the Galveston campus of Texas A&M University and its Maritime Academy. Throughout the day, tours of the General Rudder were made available to former students of both the Galveston and main campus’ of Texas A&M University, colleagues, leaders of industry, local officials, friends and family. Each eventful day was topped off with a reception for all to enjoy great food and delightful company. It was said many times, that these port calls felt more like family reunions than receptions.


July 11 – Mobile, AL


June 13 – Canaveral, FL


Astronaut Returns to Space Coast!

On Tuesday June 13, Chief Operating Officer of Texas A&M University at Galveston Col. Mike E. Fossum returned to the space coast of Canaveral Florida. The day was filled with activities for the cadets of the campus’s training vessel TS General Rudder, former students from Galveston and main campus, Canaveral Florida industry and government officials as she made port for the very first time in Port Canaveral, FL.

The day got off to an early start, as Col. Fossum met the cadets aboard the General Rudder at Port Canaveral. The colonel then arranged for the cadets, as well as a select group of VIPs, to take a personalized private tour of the Kennedy Space Center. The cadets, prominently dressed in their formal salt and pepper uniforms, drew great attention from the crowd of tourists as the former astronaut led the group through the Kennedy Space Center facilities.

The festivities began with an impassioned talk by former astronaut and Kennedy Space Center Director, Col. Robert D. Cabana, followed by a graciously hosted tour of the Space Shuttle Atlantis exhibit. Col. Fossum then took it from there, as he provided an up close and personal tour of the remaining space center exhibits, sharing his (often emotional) experiences throughout the day. Some of the areas visited were the Space Shuttle Atlantis, the Heroes and Legends exhibit and the U.S. Astronaut Hall of Fame.

As the afternoon turned to evening, the colonel returned to the port to welcome all those mentioned above to a reception honoring the TS General Rudder’s maiden voyage to Port Canaveral, FL. A plaque honoring the vessel’s first docking was presented to Col. Fossum, RADM Mike Rodriguez, and the new Captain of the General Rudder Justin Pierson. It was a wonderful evening of delightful speakers from both our campus and the Port Authority, networking and conversation amongst colleagues and peers, ship tours of the Rudder, food and laughs. The Colonel looks forward to the continued success of port events like this, which raise the awareness of our great University and our unique Galveston campus.


Lead By Example President's Event

On Friday, April 7, the Texas A&M Foundation hosted a Lead by Example dinner at the Tremont House in Galveston. Approximately fifty friends of TAMUG were present to greet Texas A&M President Michael K. Young and his wife, Mrs. Marti Young, along with Texas A&M Foundation President Tyson Voelkel ‘96. The evening also included an introduction to Colonel Michael E. Fossum ’80 (Texas A&M University at Galveston’s Chief Operating Officer and Texas A&M University Vice President) and his wife, Mrs. Melanie Fossum ‘80. President Young stated, when considering Fossum’s previous employment as a NASA astronaut that he, by far, traveled further than any of the other candidates who applied for the COO position.

Also present was Rear Admiral Michael J. Rodriguez, our own Texas A&M Maritime Academy Superintendent. Tyson Voelkel reported that Texas A&M University recently hit the $2.5B mark in the Lead by Example campaign. With a goal of $4B, the Lead by Example campaign is the largest higher education campaign in Texas history and the second largest conducted nationally by a public university.

President Young was pleased to report on the growth of the Galveston campus and stated that he sees a higher growth percentage potential for Texas A&M University at Galveston than he does for the College Station campus. He asked Maroon Delegate Ms. Macy Elms to stand up and hold up her right hand showing off her Aggie ring, which she just received earlier that day at the ring ceremony on campus. President Young exclaimed that, “yes, it is the same Aggie Ring” received by College Station and Qatar students. It was a good night for Texas A&M University, the Galveston campus, and members of the Galveston community.


Left to Right: Col. Michael Fossum and President Michael Young spend time with the Texas A&M University at Galveston Maroon Delegates.


Left to Right: Gerald, Kelley and Todd Sullivan chat with Texas A&M Foundation President Tyson Voelkel.


Texas A&M Foundation President Tyson Voelkel addreasses the audience during the Lead by Example dinner at the Tremont House in Galveston, TX.


Giving & Stewardship


Check presentation to set up The Ingram Lee Foundation Texas A&M Maritime Academy Scholarship. Left to Right: the Ingram Lee Foundation’s, Trent Kelley, Texas A&M Foundation’s Rick Kline, Galveston campus COO Col. Michael Fossum, and Ingram Lee Foundation’s Tiffany Buck.


Left to Right: Kelly Teichman and Rick Kline as she accepts her Endowed Scholarship Plaque at May’s Board of Visitors Meeting.


Left to Right: Rick Kline and Jonathan Whitworth as he accepts his Endowed Scholarship Plaque at May’s Board of Visitors Meeting.


2nd Annual Maroon Delegate Tailgate

Family and friends of the Galveston campus of Texas A&M University are cordially invited to join the Maroon Delegates for their 2nd annual Maroon Delegates tailgate! Stop by the Simpson Drill field on the north side of Kyle field November 11th for some good food and fun before the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Football team beats the hell outta New Mexico! Meet former astronaut and new Chief Operating Officer and Vice President of Texas A&M University at Galveston, Michael E. Fossum ’80.