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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp attends the Class of 1972 50-year reunion in Kyle Field on April 20, 2022.
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Texas A&M pitcher Ryan Prager (18) delivers a pitch during Texas A&M’s game against Kentucky at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at in Omaha, Nebraska on Monday, June 17, 2024. Prager went for 6.2 innings, allowing two hits and zero runs. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
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Texas A&M pitcher Ryan Prager (18) delivers a pitch during Texas A&M’s game against Kentucky at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at in Omaha, Nebraska on Monday, June 17, 2024. Prager went for 6.2 innings, allowing two hits and zero runs. (Chris Swann/The Battalion)
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Texas A&M outfielder Jace Laviolette (17) robs a home run from Florida infielder Cade Kurland (4) in the top of the ninth inning during Texas A&M’s game against Florida at the NCAA Men’s College World Series at Charles Schwab Field in Omaha, Nebraska on Sunday, June 15, 2024. (Hannah Harrison/The Battalion)
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Bringing the Aggie Spirit to New York City

Andy+Ellwood+and+Ashley+Powell+have+taken+over+New+York+Aggies+club%2C+helping+it+grow+in+numbers+and+resources.
Photo by Photo by Josh McCormark

Andy Ellwood and Ashley Powell have taken over New York Aggies club, helping it grow in numbers and resources.

Andy Ellwood took the New Jersey Turnpike into the largest city in America to begin what he describes as his new calling. Hoping to meet like-minded people, he found New York Aggies, the largest alumni group outside of the state of Texas. But Ellwood discovered a lack of the familial spirit he experienced in College Station.
From that point on, Ellwood, Class of 2004, start-up entrepreneur and president of the New York Aggies, has worked to take the reins of the organization and spread the word of the Aggie family in the Big Apple.
The New York Aggies’ focus lies in three main areas: To convince students that New York City is a viable option for work and life, getting talented students from the North East to A&M and fostering an Aggie family who do things together in NYC.
“Yes, New York is different and it is a challenge, but there is a huge support network,” Ellwood said. “People have found their roommates, people to go to shows with and people to work out with. People find others to do social activities with outside of the club.”
Ashley Powell, New York Aggies executive vice president, marketing analyst at Cerberus Capital Management and Class of 2011, said the club’s growth has skyrocketed in the past two years. At this year’s New York Aggie Muster A&M football head coach Kevin Sumlin was the Muster Speaker and more than 300 people attended.
“The Aggie Network is a family, and we have a great one, but now we are trying to get the rest of them. There are 3,500 Aggies who live in the Tri-State area and [we want] to get more of them,” Powell said. “[Muster] went off without a hitch, which was great. But what was really great was so many people came up to us and said, ‘Thank you.’ They said this was incredible.”
New York Aggies gives away three different scholarships to incoming students who are from New York, New Jersey or Connecticut, commonly referred to as the Tri-State area. Ellwood said they make sure to keep in touch with students who move to Texas, helping them to adjust to the Aggie way of life in anyway they can, Ellwood said.
“Our club is doing our best to recruit the best students to come to A&M,” Ellwood said. “We work with the foundation and our club to make that happen.”
A large part of the New York Aggies’ success is attributed the Association of Former Students, Powell said. The Association offers help to all of the alumni clubs to connect their group to College Station.
They have an ever-growing group of alumni who are looking to get involved with their fellow Ags who are now living across the country. Ellwood said at this past season’s Alabama game, their watch party had close to 300 in attendance, and they had to host the game at two bars.
Looking forward, Powell and Ellwood hope to outgrow Texas alumni clubs to become the place where Aggies looking for jobs go to continue being actively part of the Aggie family. They are currently working to create a job support board and have more than 40 events planned for 2017.
“Our biggest priority this year are outreach. How do we get a hold of the people that don’t know we exist or know that we exist but don’t know that we are doing things?” Powell said. “[We want] to have so many things on our schedule so no one can possibly come to all of them.”
With all the New York Aggies are doing, the main goal is to make the dream of living in New York City a reality Ellwood said. Ellwood was invited to speak at this year’s TEDxTAMU. He and Powell will be tabling in Rudder Plaza Monday April 24 to advocate for New York Aggies and will be selling T-shirts for $10.
“I’ve always known people who were like, ‘I’ve always wanted to go to New York but that’s just unrealistic,’” Ellwood said. “You know what? Right after graduation is the best time to [move to New York]. You are lean and mean and you can find a spot in this city.”

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