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

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

The Battalion

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Making a difference in Maroon

Seniors%26%23160%3BMadison+Codney%2C%26%23160%3BJoshua+Brookins%2C+and+juniors%26%23160%3BAzra+Ravi%26%23160%3Band+Hudson+Lorfing+are+all+current+serving+members+of+the+Maroon+Coats.
Photo by Photo by Alyssa Denson

Seniors Madison CodneyJoshua Brookins, and juniors Azra Ravi and Hudson Lorfing are all current serving members of the Maroon Coats.

Through ambassadorship, stewardship and selfless service, Maroon Coats work alongside the Texas A&M Foundation in the largest fundraiser in Texas history.
The Texas A&M Foundation, an independent non-profit organization, has created a fundraiser called Lead by Example, with a goal to raise $4 billion for the advancement of Texas A&M. Maroon Coats are A&M students serving as ambassadors to create relationships with donors at various events the Texas A&M Foundation hosts.
Tyson Voelkel, president of the Texas A&M Foundation and Class of 1996, said there are many areas within the university that are in need of improvement, and Maroon Coats play a major role in helping receive the donations necessary to better the future of the university.
“There are about 120 different priorities that each of the deans and the president of the university have identified as important to them for us to raise money,” Voelkel said. “The Maroon Coats serve a really important role for us, because they help us at events, speak with donors and with people that are interested in investing in Texas A&M about their experience.”
Maggie Malone, president of the Maroon Coats and marketing graduate student, said an important aspect of the Maroon Coats is uniting Aggies across decades.
“Our mission is to really connect all the way through from Class 2017 to Class 1950,” Malone said. “I think that’s something really special about our group and it’s what draws me into the Maroon Coats.”
The Maroon Coats not only assist the Texas A&M Foundation, but also educate other student organizations on how to connect with donors and establish endowments.
“We always put on an event called SOAC [the Student Organization Advancement Conference], which is an educational day where we bring in leaders of student organizations across campus and we teach them about endowments and fundraising,” Malone said. “Also, we bring in the donors to encourage donations to the organizations, and I think that it is a great way to gain exposure to donors at Texas A&M.”
Malone said the people who they meet along the way is the most important aspect of the group.
“We get to be a part of some cools things, but at the end of the day, the impact people make on us is what we love most about the Maroon Coats,” Malone said.
Martha Vilas, Maroon Coats event coordinator and urban planning junior, said she enjoys watching the group grow and learn as they make a difference at the university.
“I love to work behind the scenes, because I can see the impact these students have with donors,” Vilas said. “They aren’t here for themselves, but for the benefit of the organization, and I think it’s really cool to see how much students learn.”
Voelkel said the campaign has been a huge success so far with hundreds of thousands of donations received.
“We have had over 560,000 transactions since the start of the campaign,” Voelkel said. “What that amounts to is about 40,000 transactions per year for the foundation to manage and about 12,000 donor interactions per year.”
Malone said the Maroon Coats’ future plans consist of traveling across the country to gain more support for A&M programs and scholarships.
“Our vision moving forward is to start traveling nationally for donor engagements,” Malone said. “That way we can tell more individuals of what Texas A&M is all about.”
Voelkel said the Maroon Coats are students who see Texas A&M as a university much bigger than themselves. He believes the Maroon Coats are appreciative in all that Texas A&M has to offer and giving back to the university is important to them.
“The Maroon Coats reflect what is really great about Texas A&M,” Voelkel said. “As an organization, these are students that believe in the Aggie values. These are students that believe in giving back. They understand that what we have at Texas A&M shouldn’t be taken for granted.”

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