"From the outside looking in, you can't understand it. And from the inside looking out, you can't explain it.” This quote is used to describe the Spirit of Aggieland but I think it can also be used to explain the Aggie network. It’s hard to explain to someone the immense benefits and meaning of the network. To explain to people that others will help you just because you are an Aggie, is something that most won’t understand. The network is a place where you can get a job just because you are an Aggie, or a place to stay, or just a cup of coffee. Dr. R. Bowen Loftin said “it’s an extraordinary thing to see the Aggie Network in action.” Tales of the network in action are numerous. One that I recently heard was of a friend who was on his honeymoon in London, he (my friend) was approached by a stranger that noticed his Aggie ring. The guy said he would like to buy him a pint and talk about the good ol’days. Just having an Aggie ring unlocks the door to this exclusive network.
Everyone has a different opinion on why A&M is such a special place.
When Jason Cook was the vice president of Marketing and Communications he said that "What makes Texas A&M special… is our combination of world-class academics and unmatched spirit and traditions.”
Jennifer Siegel wrote an article for “The Battalion” in 2011 about why A&M was so special. Student, Morgan Moliver, responded by saying “traditions and growth have created a large, close-knit Aggie network, that benefits Texas A&M graduates and employers. When you have a built community that you can go out to and rely on and network with, it creates so much more tradition, loyalty and all-around availability for jobs. The Aggie network is so impressive that everyone wants a part of it because they know how great we are."
It’s hard to say why our network is so much stronger and more valuable than other schools. If I were to pinpoint why that is, I would have to say it’s the Corps of Cadets and the fact that we have a military background. Under federal law, Texas A&M University is classified as a senior military college. The Corps of Cadets are keepers of the spirit, which means they are the enforcers of everything Aggie and the Aggie honor code. With honor, integrity, selfless services, and discipline governing them, they are the epitome of Aggie tradition. The bond that is formed by the corps is one that will last a lifetime.
Senior corps member, Brandon Yates, told me “I have made a lot of great friends in the Corps. The phrase people in the Corps tend to use are that you "marry and bury" your buddies because you stay friends with them for the rest of your life. You will be with them when they get married and will be there when they get buried. The things we have done together since fish year have created lifelong friendships and bonds. Going through all of the hardships and challenges such as corps brass from fish year brought us close together. We will go eat as a class together every week, go hang out and just do things together.”
According to the corps website, “The Corps is the “Keepers of the Spirit” and the founder of “Traditions” at Texas A&M. It teaches principles of leadership, develops responsibility, honor, and integrity; builds pride and self-confidence; instills physical stamina; and lays the foundation for intelligent and involved citizenship, culminating in the graduation of leaders possessing character and competence who are motivated for service and leadership in their community, the State of Texas, and the Nation.”
Corps alumni members have gone on to do great things and be in places of power. Just to name drop a few, A&M has graduated Congressman Bill Flores ’76 and Governor James R. Perry “Rick’’72.
So what makes the Aggie network so strong? There are many different answers but I think the common thread in all of them is the people. Aggies are a unique group where honor, tradition, and integrity all collide.
An Aggie does not lie, cheat or steal nor tolerate those who do.
Photo source-Bishop Fisher