14 years today, I decided that I wanted to go to Texas A&M above all others. 14 years ago I was so blown away by the Aggie Network that I knew I had to be a part of it. 14 years ago, as the news reports of Bonfire falling consumed evening news and morning headlines, I couldn't believe that a school could rally amidst such a tragedy.

14 years ago I caught my first glimpse at what it meant to be an Aggie.

"From the outside looking in, you can't understand it. From the inside looking out, you can't explain it."

Make Our Mark and So Much More

Texas A&M and tradition are no stranger to one another. In fact, they're practically synonymous with one another. From Midnight Yell to Muster to know exactly who is 'Now forming at the North End of Kyle Field..." there are very few things at Texas A&M that don't carry an element of long standing tradition. Most of the notable traditions that folks on the outside looking in and the inside looking out may point to are traditions on campus and participated in by current students. But there is another tradition that Former Students are especially counted on to carry out. And that's giving back to the school that gave us so much.

When giving, everyone comes at it from a different perspective. For some it is a month gift. For others it is a one time donation in December because their CPA told them they needed to show a little more giving for the calendar year. And, for others, it is tied to some kind of recognition or capital campaign that may lead to your name being on the side of a building on campus.  Whatever it the, the hope is, that as Former Students, we will continue to be involved in the traditions on campus through our giving, even if we can't be there for every home game.

As a member of the Fightin' Texas Aggie Class of 2004, I was a little disappointed when I found out from our Class Officer and former Student Body President Matt Josefy, that our class year has the lowest % of giving of any class in recent history. Just 6% of our incredible Class of 2004 have given back to the Association of Former Students and that's just not right.

Now, here is where, if I was making a sales pitch or going for the close, I would ask some leading questions and lay out the benefits that your "one time gift will bring to the lives of Aggies everywhere..." But, since this is out of Class pride and not because I'm making commission, let me give you my secret reason (among all the other good ones) for consistently giving back to Texas A&M: The wooden plaque is now online!

When you go to and log in, it will not only pull up your profile (which looks awesome after the recent updates to the website) but it will also show you your virtual wooden plaque with the corresponding bars for each year you've given! (see mine HERE) And, as soon as you make your Bronze level donation for this year, the new bar will show up on your profile. And, if you've missed some years, you can add them on to your donation and they'll show up so it looks like you've been consistent since you graduated.

Whatever you choose to give, give something and help our Class get rid of the burden of being "the lowest % giving Class in the history of the University." Because, as we remember from our indoctrination at Lakeview, we're to "Mark our mark and so much more, Fightin' Class of '04!"

(To find out more, check out the Class of 2004's Facebook page HERE)