The 12th Man Foundation at Texas A&M and Paciolan team up to reinvent the Aggie fan experience

New technologies will enable Aggie fans to experience a new standard of excellence


IRVINE, Calif. (Sept. 13, 2018) – Paciolan today announced a historic new relationship with the 12th Man Foundation to power ticketing and fan engagement for Texas A&M Athletics. Powered by Paciolan’s innovative technologies, Aggie fans will gain access to advanced digital ticketing, account management and marketing tools that will revolutionize the way they experience Texas A&M Athletics events.

Paciolan will provide an integrated solution to serve the needs of the 12th Man Foundation’s ticketing and membership office. This powerful solution will provide a 360-degree view of Aggie fans and donors to enable Texas A&M Athletics to customize marketing programs for each fan.

“As our incredible athletics program competes in what is arguably the best conference in college sports, we want to ensure that our fans have an unparalleled experience,” said Travis Dabney, president and CEO at 12th Man Foundation. “We’re excited to team with Paciolan to reimagine the way we engage our fans and members who share our passion for excellence.”

The transformative relationship will reinvent how Texas A&M and the 12th Man Foundation connect with Aggie fans, creating a unified experience throughout every aspect of the customer journey. Aggie fans will receive personalized communications and tailored touchpoints powered by Paciolan’s Marketing Automation and Salesforce CRM technologies. Automated emails featuring dynamic customer information will also welcome fans to games as they arrive and re-engage them after the game to maximize their experience.

Paciolan’s customized implementation of the Salesforce CRM solution will provide the 12th Man Foundation with a 360-degree view of their customers, with access to more data to learn insights about each customer and their preferences. The system maintains detailed information on each donor and ticket buyer, as well as tracking sales progress in real-time to align with business goals. Through customized interactions with Aggie fans and donors, comprehensive data profiles are created to enable the foundation to build rich, personalized programs.

As part of this new relationship with Paciolan, StubHub will become the ‘Official Fan to Fan Ticket Marketplace’ of Aggie Athletics. With this integrated solution, Aggie fans will access the world’s largest ticket marketplace to buy and sell verified individual game tickets in a seamless and secure environment, plus have the most flexibility and access to tickets when combined with Paciolan’s primary ticketing services. For the 12th Man Foundation, Paciolan and StubHub will provide valuable transactional data and customer insights to better serve Aggie fans.

As part of the agreement, Ballena Technologies, a Paciolan company, will create virtual venues for two additional Texas A&M facilities. The company already provides seat selection processes and the opportunity for fans to preview sightlines and select seats for Aggie football at Kyle Field. Aggie fans will now have access to a virtual venue with the ability to pick-your-own seats within the Seat Relocation Management System for reseating and upgrades, at Reed Arena and Blue Bell Park.

Texas A&M will also be leveraging Paciolan’s fundraising system, PAC Fund, to centralize athletic development account management capabilities through the 12th Man Foundation website. Donors will be able to easily submit pledges and donations online at any time, as well as manage all outstanding pledges and renewals, easily making payments or setting up billing plans. Development staff will gain donation information, account data, donation summaries, membership levels and priority points as part of a comprehensive view of each donor.

“We are very excited to team with the 12th Man Foundation and Texas A&M. Their rich history, longstanding traditions, and dedication to innovation makes for a great partnership,” said Paciolan President & CEO Kim Damron. “We look forward to working with Travis Dabney and Director of Athletics Scott Woodward to help elevate the fan experience for all Aggie fans with cutting-edge tools, technology and innovation.”

Paciolan’s parent company, Learfield, has a long-term relationship with the Aggies as Texas A&M Ventures, the official multimedia rights partner for Texas A&M Athletics. Texas A&M Ventures is strategically focused to deliver valuable ways to work with business partners and sponsors for Aggie Athletics.

About Paciolan

Paciolan, a Learfield company, is a leader in ticketing, fundraising, marketing, and analytics solutions with over 38 years of experience serving more than 500 live entertainment organizations. Paciolan enables the sale of more than 120 million tickets per year by powering over 125 college athletic programs, more than 100 professional sports and arenas organizations, 75 performing arts venues, and several regional ticketing partners who serve hundreds of venues. Learn more at 281-605-6181 (/www.paciolan.com/) .

About Learfield

An industry leader for more than four decades, Learfield has a deep presence in the college athletics landscape nationwide. It manages the multimedia and sponsorship rights for 125 collegiate institutions, conferences and arenas, and supports athletic departments at all competitive levels as title sponsor of the prestigious Learfield Directors’ Cup. Learfield also provides its collegiate partners access to professional concessions and ticket sales; branding, licensing and trademark consulting; digital and social platform expertise; campus-wide business and sponsorship development; and venue and technology systems through its affiliated companies. For more information, visit (408) 510-4304. (/www.learfield.com/)

Email System Update

As part of our commitment to enhance communication with our tremendous donors and fans of Texas A&M Athletics, the 12th Man Foundation is transitioning our email service to a new provider.

This new service will allow us to deliver better and more personalized content so you can receive the best, most-relevant information from us.

To ensure you receive future emails, please add updates@info.12thmanfoundation.com to your address book. You can do so easily by clicking the button below to download our electronic contact card.

If you have any questions, please contact our office at (979) 846-8892 or 847-940-9391.

Thanks and Gig ‘Em!

Online Account Activation

Wednesday, May 2 all active 12th Man Foundation donors received an email requesting that they activate their accounts on our new online donor portal.

Activating your new account is important. The donor portal is your new online platform to manage your giving, register for events, view priority points, and more. For those selecting/relocating seats in Kyle Field for 2019, this is also where you will access your seat selection appointment.

To activate your account, use the information received in your May 2 email, then follow the steps in the screenshots below.

If you did not receive the May 2 email, please call our offices at (979) 846-8892.

Step 1

Click “Log In” in the navigation bar at the top of the site.

Step 2

Click the “Link Your Account” button on the bottom right side of the new account portal screen.

Step 3

Enter your account number and Online PIN that you received in your May 2 email.

Seat Selection FAQs

2018 Seat Selection FAQs

Seat selection and relocation begins Tuesday, May 8. Appointments are in order of Priority Point rank as of April 2, 2018.

Important Notes

  • New this year, you may purchase up to 6 additional tickets during your seat selection appointment.
  • If your seating adjustment increases your ticket cost and/or annual seat contribution, you will be required to either pay in full or begin a payment plan at checkout.
    • Second payment is due June 20
    • Final payment due July 20
    • If you are on a payment plan that was created during your Renewal, the final payment for that plan is still June 1.
  • The link to begin your seat selection appointment is located in your new online donor portal.
  • In order to access your seat selection appointment, you must activate your new online donor portal account. If you did not receive an activation email, please contact our office.

Important Links

Inventory

In May, we will share information about expected available inventory for the relocation and new seat selection process. Beginning seat inventory comes from previously unsold seats and cancelled orders. Please keep in mind that the inventory will be fluid, and it will change as fellow donors make their selections and change locations throughout the process.

Click here for an available inventory listing.

During the relocation and new seat selection process, donors who have opted in to the process will have the opportunity to change the location of their seats and purchase additional seats.

  • You may swap your current seats for any available inventory in any area of Kyle Field.
  • You may split your current seats.  For example, if you selected 4 seats in the North Upper Bench section, you could:
    • Move all 4 seats to the North Upper Armchair, or
    • Keep 2 seats in the North Upper Bench and move 2 seats to the West Bench, or
    • Stay in the North Upper Bench, but move to a different section or row.
  • All seats in Kyle Field are subject to an annual seat contribution
    • If the seats you select are more expensive than the original seats, you are required to pay the additional amounts due for the season ticket and the annual seat contribution.
    • If the seats you select are less expensive than the original seats, any difference in ticket price will be refunded but donation amounts will not be refunded.
    • 9098336240 to see a seating map with ticket prices and annual seat contribution amounts.

Participating in the Relocation Process

The deadline to opt-in to the seat selection/relocation process was April 2, 2018.

Participating in the New/Additional Seat Selection Process

The deadline to participate in the seat selection process was April 2, 2018.

If you opted to participate in the process, your appointment time and instructions for accessing the system were communicated via first class mail and email.

I would like to request to sit with other season ticket holders in a group. How can I do that?

  • If you would like to request group seating in the seat selection process, please have each member of your group email tickets@12thmanfoundation.com.
  • Group appointments will select based on the lowest priority point ranking member of the group.

Appointments

Seat relocation and new/additional seat selection appointment times and instructions for accessing the system were sent by first class mail and email.

  1. You will be able to access the system to view available inventory 30 minutes prior to your appointment time. You will not be able to view inventory prior to this time; you will not be permitted to access the system after your appointment time concludes.
  2. If you miss your appointment time, you forfeit your opportunity to participate in in the process.
  3. If you opt to participate in the process but later change your mind, you may simply skip your appointment time. You will retain your original seats.
  4. If you opt to participate and login at your appointment time and then decide to keep your original seats, you may simply exit the seat selection system without confirming a change in seats.  You will retain your original seats.
  5. You will be required to pay any ticket price or annual seat contribution increase in full in order to complete the process.
    -Please note that this payment plan has different dates than the renewal payment plan dates, with the second payment due June 20 and final payment due July 20.

Purchasing New Seats

New this year, you are able to purchase new seats in addition to your current seats while in the seat selection system.

  • You may add up to six additional seats during the selection process
    • Seating area quantity limits (8 in Legacy Club and 12 in all other areas) are still imposed.
  • Full payment or a fully scheduled payment plan will be required at the completion of your session. Please be prepared to enter payment information.
    • If your seat selection results in a balance due on tickets or seat contributions, you need to be ready to enter payment information at the conclusion of your session. You may pay in full or select a payment schedule.
      • If you select a payment schedule, one third is due at the end of the seat selection appointment. One third will be due on June 15, and final third due on July 15.
    • Reminder — There is still one payment remaining on payment plans executed during the renewal process. If you selected to pay your renewal with a payment plan, the final payment will run on June 1.
    • If you have prepaid for new season tickets and do not find desirable seats in the selection process, exit the process without making a selection. Your ticket prepayment for unselected new seats will be refunded and any portion of a June 1 scheduled payment will be cancelled.

Pricing

All seats in Kyle Field are subject to an annual seat contribution. Click here to see a seating map with annual seat contribution amounts.

General Information

  1. If you change the location of your seats and complete the online process, the transaction is final. Do not release your original seats unless you are certain you want to change seating. We cannot restore your original seats.
  2. Donors are limited to no more than 8 Prime West Legacy Club and/or West Legacy Club seats, no more than 6 in the Touchdown View areas, and no more than 12 seats in any other individual area.

Payment Plan Information

If your seating adjustment increases your ticket cost and/or annual seat contribution, you will be required to either pay in full or begin a payment plan at checkout.

  • Payment plans require 1/3 due at checkout
  • 2nd payment is due June 20
  • Final payment is due July 20

Please note, if you have a previously-scheduled Renewal payment plan, your final payment is still due June 1.

Kyle Field Seat Availability Chart

2018 Seat Availability Chart

Please refer to this map and table below as you prepare for your season ticket selection/relocation appointment. Note that a vast majority of the available inventory is located in the upper bench areas of the north and south end zones.

Availability will be updated weekly. Numbers listed are current as of Tuesday, May 29.

Area Inventory
West Field Box (FB1-FB5 & FB9-FB13) 250
Prime West Field Box (FB6-FB8) 1
West Endzone Armchair (301-302 & 311-313) 10
West Armchair (303-304, 309-310, 403-406) 7
Prime West Armchair (305-308) 5
Legacy Club (LC5 & LC8) 6
Prime Legacy Club (LC6 & LC7) 1
All American Club (AC1-AC3 & AC10-AC12) 525
Prime All American Club (AC4 & AC9) 4
West Bench (401-402 & 407-408) 1100
Prime West Bench (403-406) 335
Prime East Bench (125-126) 34
Faculty & Staff Lower (114, 127, 134 & 246) 380
Faculty & Staff Upper (350-351) 45
South Lower Bench (133) 450
South Mid Bench (239-245) 150
Southeast Upper Bench (339-340) 120
South Upper Bench (342-350) 2100
Touchdown View (South Upper Bench) 930
New Grad (South Upper Bench) 400
North Lower Armchair (115-118) 35
North Upper Armchairs (314-327) 70
Zone Club (ZC1-ZC16) 130
Northeast Bench (328-329) 40
North Upper Bench (409-421) 2400
Touchdown View (North Upper Bench) 1075
North Lower Armchair Lettermen (119) 5
Northeast Bench Lettermen (328-329) 40
North Upper Bench Lettermen (420-421) 80

757-372-6059

Donald ’56 and Judith Robbins go above and beyond to support Texas A&M Athletics and student-athletes.


written by
Matt Simon

One of the fabled “Junction Boys,” Donald Robbins laughs when asked to share his memories of the time he spent with Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant and the rest of his Aggie teammates out in west Texas.

“We couldn’t print most of them,” he said with a chuckle.

Donald is the son of Cooper Robbins Sr., Class of 1928, who was a well-known Texas high school coach and later the freshman team coach at Texas A&M. With a family that centered around two things — football and the Texas Aggies — there was little doubt where Donald would go to school. He followed his older brother, Cooper Jr., to A&M.

Donald played football for his father as a freshman, and then was on the Aggie team that traveled to Kentucky and beat Bryant’s Wildcats, 7-6, in 1953. At the end of that season, Bryant took the A&M job. A few months later, the legend of Junction was born.

“We went out to Junction in three air-conditioned buses, plus trucks with shoulder pads and equipment,” recalled Donald, whose twin brother, Ronald, was also on the team. “We came back in one bus.”

One of the casualties of the camp was all-conference center Fred Broussard. His departure left the team with a glaring hole in the offensive line.

“We did not have anybody who could deep snap for punts and extra points,” said Donald, who played tight end on offense and defensive end on defense. “So, I’d run off the field when we were going to punt the football, pull a jersey on right quick and go back in and play center.”

Donald, who wore No. 81, had to switch to a jersey with a number in the 50s in order to be eligible to snap.

Born to Coach

As the son of a coach, Donald always had the itch to explore the profession. While wrapping up his college eligibility, he taught weight training in the physical education department.

“When I was getting my master’s, I was Elmer Smith’s line coach on the freshman team,” Donald said. “I sat in on all the practice schedules and planning and so forth.”

Following a stint in the Army, Donald coached high school football in Port Arthur, Snyder and Big Spring, then in college at UTEP and as the head coach of the University of Idaho.

One of his players at Port Arthur Jefferson?

Jimmy Johnson.

Become an MVP donor with a $750+ gift


With a yearly philanthropic contribution to the 12th Man Foundation Annual Fund, Donald ’56 and Judith Robbins go above and beyond to support Texas A&M Athletics and student-athletes.

Join Donald and Judith as MVP Donors in support of championship athletics.

“Donald always said Jimmy knew what he was supposed to do and he knew what the other 10 guys were supposed to do,” Donald’s wife, Judith, said. “He was one of the smartest players he’d ever coached.”

“He was the general on the field,” Donald added. “He was a heck of a football player.”

Five years ago, the town of Big Spring held a 50th-anniversary reunion for one of the school’s best teams in history — the 1963 Steers — of which Donald was the head coach. He was invited back and among other honors, was able to do the coin toss prior to the game that weekend.

“To me, that speaks volumes of the influence a coach has,” Judith said, “when 50 years later, your players remember you and still want to see you, have you around and honor you. The long-term character development is extremely important to us.”

Character Matters

Donald and Judith met while both were working in public school administration in Big Spring. Upon moving to Llano in the 1980s, they began attending Aggie football games, purchasing season tickets even to this day. They now live in Bryan and try to make as many A&M sporting events as they can.

“Even though I graduated from Hardin Simmons and my master’s is from Texas Tech, when I married Donald, my blood turned maroon,” Judith said. “Of course, that had to happen, since my husband, father-in-law, brothers-in-law, stepson and multiple nieces and nephews were all Aggies. Needless to say, there’s no burnt orange in any Robbins households.”

As much as they enjoy the games — “We especially love it when they win,” Judith said — they take a very special enjoyment in seeing student-athletes earn their degree.

No matter how long that takes.

“It makes you feel good to see someone you saw play 15 years ago all of a sudden in the graduating class,” Judith said. “And one thing we’ve always done is contribute not just to the athletic department, but to scholarships through athletics. Because providing scholarships for kids who might not have been able to attend otherwise is important to us, too. We like to see students develop their athletic skills and personal character, so that when they leave A&M, they are better in all areas than when they got here.”

Annual contributions by dedicated donors like the Robbins ensures that current and future Aggie student-athletes have the opportunity to earn a degree from our world-class university.

Impactful Major Gifts Donors: Stephanie ’94 & Josh Davis ’94

Stephanie and Josh Davis are making a difference for Texas A&M Athletics.


written by
Brian Davis

The Aggie couple is helping provide A&M student-athletes the best opportunities to be successful with their generous support of the 12th Man Foundation’s mission.

Josh’s impact is also seen inside Kyle Field, Reed Arena, Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park and wherever an A&M team might be playing across the country.

To call Josh a passionate Aggie sports fan might be a bit of an understatement. He is a die-hard A&M football fan, a vocal supporter of the basketball team and he loves the baseball program.

Frankly, if A&M is competing in athletics, Josh is most likely in attendance or following it closely.

“I probably could be accused of being a little bit too passionate,” he admitted. “But I love A&M and I love sports.”

East coast to Aggieland

Like many Aggies, Josh’s family and the way he was raised led him to love A&M and sports, but not always A&M sports.

He grew up in the Washington D.C. area and was a huge University of Maryland basketball fan — his dad’s alma mater. A&M was out of sight, out of mind until the family moved to San Marcos when his father’s job in the Treasury Department was relocated to Austin.

Josh’s older sister was the first in the family to go to A&M. When it was his turn to choose a college, it came down to A&M and the University of Texas.

“Truth be told, I did not want to go to school a half an hour from home or 10 minutes from my dad’s office,” he admitted. “So, I followed my older sister to A&M.”

Josh majored in accounting and finance and attended every football and basketball game he could.

“I absolutely loved school,” he said. “I loved A&M and the culture of the school.”

Career and Family

During his junior year at A&M, a pledge brother introduced Josh to Stephanie, a fellow business student who the friend knew from high school.

“She graduated in 1994, moved to Atlanta for a job and lived there with my sister,” said Josh, who took a “victory lap” before graduating in 1995. “When I finished school and took a job in Houston, she took a new job in Houston.”

Josh and Stephanie married in 1998 and have three children — Joshua (15), Payne (13) and Libby (10).

Like many Aggies at the time, Josh went to work for Arthur Andersen straight out of college. His career in finance has taken the Davises from Houston to Washington D.C. to Charlotte and now back to Houston, where he is one of five founding partners of Stellus Capital Management.

“Three of us are Aggies,” he said, “and we’ve all worked together for a very long time. I have basketball and football seats with one of my partners… we do a lot of fun things together.”

Enhance a Student-Athlete’s Experience


With their generous support and love for Texas A&M, Stephanie ’94 and Josh Davis ’94 are helping provide championship-level experiences for student-athletes.

Join Stephanie and Josh as Champions Council members and make a transformational gift to Texas A&M Athletics.

The Aggie Experience

Since arriving on campus in 1990, Josh has witnessed some of the greatest moments in the past 20 years of Aggie Athletics, including some unforgettable comeback victories.

“The 1998 Big 12 Championship game and the 2016 Northern Iowa basketball game are as good as it gets for an Aggie fan,” he said.

Josh also likes to tell his friend and former Longhorn quarterback Shea Morenz how vividly he remembers him throwing the interception to safety Dennis Allen that clinched an Aggie victory in the 1993 A&M-Texas game.

Over the years, Aggie sports have provided the perfect family experiences for the Davises. Josh and Stephanie love the fact that it’s something they can all do as a family to create lifelong memories.

“We’ve been taking our children to basketball and football games since they were little,” said Josh, who first purchased football season tickets in The Zone when it opened in 1999. “While there are lots of things you can do as a family, this is one that everybody enjoys. It’s a great, wonderful thing for us to be able to do together and have that shared passion for the school and its teams.”

Giving Back

In addition to purchasing season tickets in two sports, Josh has steadily increased his involvement with the 12th Man Foundation over the years by donating to construction projects for Olsen Field at Blue Bell Park, the Cox-McFerrin Center for Aggie Basketball and the Bright Football Complex renovations. He also joined Champions Council and served as captain of the Houston chapter.

“Champions Council is a great way to gain a lot more insight into what is going on in terms of the fundraising process and projects that are underway or needed,” said Josh, who also contributes to A&M’s Mays Business School and serves on the advisory board for the Trading, Risk & Investments Program (TRIP). “It provides a window that you don’t normally have and definitely increases and keeps your excitement about potentially being more involved in helping out.”

From meeting student-athletes to traveling to road games, Josh is grateful for the experiences he and his family have shared over the years.

“When you’re involved with the 12th Man Foundation, you have opportunities with athletics like Sideline Saturdays, where you can take your kids down to the sidelines on Kyle Field. Or in basketball, you become friends with the coaches and they invite you to shoot baskets at the practice facility before games. That’s amazing.

“Our kids have had so many neat Aggie experiences as a result of our involvement. I think those kinds of experiences are phenomenal.”

Q&A with Cindy Taylor ’84

Chair of the 12th Man Foundation Board of Trustees


What are some of your priorities while serving as chair of the board?

First, I think it’s important to embrace Jimbo Fisher and his coaching staff. They have changed their lives and their families’ lives to be part of the A&M family in hopes that this will be a great place for them to live and work. So, it’s critical that we embrace the change and support them in every way.

It’s also very important to get the donor base engaged with them. I’m very excited that Champions Council Weekend in March featured Coach Fisher as well as his new staff because we want the donor base to get exposure to them.

We have spent a tremendous amount of time and effort with the Game Day Experience Task Force. We tested some things last fall and plan to continue prioritizing and implementing improvements while integrating them with the new coaching staff.

We also need to finalize the construction and funding for Davis Diamond and E.B. Cushing Stadium. Internally, we need to complete and roll out our strategic plan that sets goals for the organization and helps everyone on staff direct their time, energy and effort in productive ways.

What are you most excited about regarding this year’s board of trustees?

We have the great benefit of continuity of the past, and a wonderful thing about this organization is the fact that so many stay actively engaged and involved. I love that people serve for four years and you have three new faces on the board each year. I am confident Kevin McDonald, Don Meyer and Jay Graham are going to be fantastic additions to the board. They were chosen because of their commitment to the organization and their commitment to athletics.

What should donors expect from the 12th Man Foundation in 2018?

We are making donor satisfaction a priority. We want to hear from our donors, understand their concerns, needs and priorities, and try to be responsive to those to the extent that we can. The main thing is trying to make every experience the best it can be.

In some ways, fans coming to one of our facilities is similar to opening your home to guests. You want to be proud of what you have. We weren’t proud of our softball facility and we didn’t have a home for our track and field student-athletes. Those are things that we want to focus on to make optimal experiences for donors and fans. We also want productive environments for our student-athletes and coaching staffs.

A primary obligation that we have is to be responsible stewards of donors’ money. With the investment they generously provide, we want to create great programs and facilities that everyone will be proud of.

What led you to pursue a career in business?

Growing up, I thought I wanted to be a coach. I tell anyone who coaches that they have the greatest impact early in a person’s life. I later realized you don’t get to just be a coach…you have to teach as well. While I liked teaching, it wasn’t the career path I was looking for. Then, I thought I wanted to be a doctor, but I didn’t have the kind of mentors to show me the path to achieve that dream.

I was fortunate. Somewhere along the way in high school I was directed toward business. I’m good at it…it’s just something that I was designed to do. I’ve had great mentors and people who have given me opportunities to advance in my career.

What I do now is serve on the board of Texas Children’s, and in a way that satisfies my passion for children and medicine. And the 12th Man Foundation satisfies my passion for athletics. You have to love what you do because it is a huge time commitment.

What inspired you to give back to Texas A&M Athletics?

First of all, I love athletics. I spend every spare moment doing something active outdoors whether it’s playing tennis, riding a bike, walking, jogging or running a half marathon.

My husband, Allan, and I are former students. We have three boys — two who are former students and one who graduates in May. Our daughter-in-law and soon-to-be second daughter-in-law are also graduates. So, we love this university. We want to make it even better than it is for generations to come and we are willing to give back to ensure long-term success.

I always say to follow what you love and pursue your passion, and I think people tend to support what they are passionate about in life. Where we spend our time is where we want to donate our money and our energy. In addition to athletics, we support the Mays Business School and the engineering school.

For us, it was important to be exposed to the 12th Man Foundation’s mission of funding scholarships, programs and facilities in support of championship athletics, and to understand that athletics is not supported by state funds. Rather, donors are the backbone of our athletic programs.

The largest single donation we have made was for the R.C. Slocum Nutrition Center. R.C. is one of our greatest ambassadors, so having his name associated with the facility made a big difference to Allan and I. After raising three boys who all played sports growing up, we understand the importance that proper nutrition has on athletics.

It all comes back to having the belief that the contributions you make not only have an impact on the quality and success of the programs, but obviously make a difference for the student-athletes themselves.

abundancy

E. King Gill Award recipients Carolyn and Tommie Lohman ’59 found a rewarding joy investing in A&M students and student-athletes.


written by
LeAnne South

In October 2017, Carolyn and the late Tommie Lohman ’59 were announced as recipients of the prestigious E. King Gill Award.

Carolyn, with her grandson Cason by her side, was honored at halftime of the Texas A&M-Auburn football game on Nov. 4, 2017. Tommie, class of 1959, passed away in 2012.

“To be acknowledged with such an award is humbling,” Carolyn said during the recognition. “That sounds so trite to say, but it really is humbling. I wish my husband could have been here for this. It’s great to be here with Cason, though, because he’s so much like his grandfather. I’m so proud of him.”

Fixtures at A&M sporting events and longtime supporters of Aggie Athletics, the Lohmans have been instrumental in A&M’s rise to athletic prominence. They embody every aspect of the award, which is presented annually to 12th Man Foundation donors who have generously helped the organization realize its mission of funding scholarships, programs and facilities in support of championship athletics.

Aggie Role Models

Tommie was destined to work in the oil industry. He grew up in Shreveport, La. and learned the business from his father, the late Zeke Lohman, Jr., a wildcatter. Zeke encouraged Tommie to attend A&M because he believed the university’s values and education would serve his son well.

Carolyn met Tommie the summer between his junior and senior year at A&M when he interned with Shell outside of her hometown of Quitman, Texas. She was in summer school at TCU when a friend encouraged her to come home for a visit to meet a handsome Aggie who came to the Dairy Queen every night.

The two hit if off and spent the 1958 fall semester traveling back and forth between College Station and Fort Worth. Toward the end of the semester Tommie proposed, saying they had to marry so he could stay in College Station and focus on his studies. They wed on Dec. 27, 1958.

With a degree in petroleum engineering, Tommie’s first job took the couple to Beeville and launched a successful career, most of which was spent as an executive with Texas Oil & Gas and as president of Delhi Gas Pipeline. Tommie earned a reputation as frank and ambitious with high standards. He loved the oil and gas industry and sought to mentor promising young employees.

Carolyn, with her grandson Cason, was honored at halftime of the A&M-Auburn football game on Nov. 4, 2017, after she and husband Tommie were named recipients of the E. King Gill Award. Tommie, class of 1959, passed away in 2012.

Tommie was a hard worker, but never let his career interfere with family. This excerpt from his 2012 obituary encapsulates it best:

Whether rocking the babies to sleep, decorating their birthday cakes, watching them play ball, skiing with them on the “black diamond” ski runs at “Skistone,” exploring London or golfing together in Scotland, there was nowhere Tommie would rather be than with his family.

Carolyn’s parents’ approval of their marriage included one stipulation: that Carolyn finish her education. Her father, W.C. “Carroll” Swearingen, graduated from A&M in 1940 and was the first in his family to attend college.

Wherever Tommie’s job took the family, Carolyn found a college where she could take classes. After 11 years, two children and eight colleges, she earned a degree in home economics education from the University of Houston.

Carolyn taught high school for four years and gained a reputation as someone students could count on for help. Following a move to Dallas, Carolyn returned to college, earned a master’s degree in counseling psychology from SMU and started a 17-year career as a counselor.

After Tommie and Carolyn retired to Houston to be near their grandchildren, they turned their attention to volunteer opportunities at A&M. They eventually relocated to College Station in the early 2000s.

Dedicated Volunteers

The College of Engineering tapped Tommie’s experience by asking him to serve on its advisory council and later the college’s External Advisory and Development Council. He was involved in several other organizations including the A&M Legacy Society and Texas Aggie Bar Association.

Carolyn joined the Dean’s Development Council within the College of Education and Human Development. At her first meeting, she volunteered to help with a new awards ceremony and was asked to chair the event.

“That’s when I learned that there is always something you can do to help,” she said. “All you really need to do is show up!”

Carolyn’s continuous involvement led to the creation of three freshman learning groups by the mid-2000s. More than a decade later, over 1,000 freshmen have passed through a Lohman Learning Community, a first-year experience program for students pursuing education majors.

Giving back has been a hallmark of Tommie and Carolyn’s lives. Their early gifts to A&M centered on students, but they also made significant contributions to help elevate the football and basketball programs.

One of those freshmen was then-Aggie men’s basketball player Jordan Green, who met Carolyn during a Lohman Learning Community social. After the event, he gave Carolyn a ride to her car parked across campus.

“I considered Carolyn Lohman my fairy godmother at Texas A&M,” Green said. “After that event, we sat in the car and talked for half an hour. She asked about my goals, my future. When she is talking to you, she makes you feel special. That’s her gift.”

Carolyn brought leaders in education and athletics together to discuss ways to help student-athletes succeed in earning their degree.

She is especially proud to have helped establish the Texas A&M Coaching Academy in 2013. Directed by former Aggie basketball player and coach Dr. John Thornton, the Academy mentors students interested in becoming coaches.

For several years, Carolyn also helped lead a dining tutorial that guided student-athletes through a formal dinner at a formally set table.

Casting a New Vision for Fundraising

In 1999, Tommie was appointed to the 12th Man Foundation’s Board of Trustees, serving as chair in 2003 and immediate past-chair in 2004.

Aging stadiums and a need to build facilities for several women’s sports at A&M spurred the 12th Man Foundation to launch its first capital campaign in 2000. The Championship Vision, chaired by Carolyn and Jack Little ’60, raised $52 million for a south end zone complex at Kyle Field along with new softball and soccer facilities.

The successful campaign proved that Aggies were willing to support athletics, and the 12th Man Foundation leadership recognized a need to meet this new reality.

Weldon Jaynes ’54, who followed Lohman as board chair in 2004, said Tommie strongly supported building a professional major gifts staff.

“Tommie was respected among the board members as a leader and problem solver,” Jaynes said. “There were real concerns, though, about the cost of creating such a staff. What happens if it doesn’t work?”

In a close vote at the 2004 summer meeting, the board approved creating a major gifts office.

Fortunately for the Foundation and Aggie Athletics, the major gifts office has proven to be a risk worth taking. After 13 years and several successful capital campaigns thanks to many dedicated donors, A&M is among the national leaders in funding athletic scholarships, programs and facilities.

“Without Tommie, there might not be a professional major gifts staff,” Jaynes said, “and the 12th Man Foundation would not be where it is today.”

Leaving a Legacy

When the Lohmans began to consider donating to A&M, they looked first at students.

“We realized we could keep putting money in the bank,” Carolyn recalled, “or we could do something to make a difference.”

They made gifts to the College of Engineering and the College of Education and Human Development that supported student learning and teaching faculty.

Their first gift to support athletics endowed a student-athlete scholarship. Later, they sponsored a banquet honoring student-athletes’ academic success. Carolyn believes that student-athletes have two jobs in college, and it is important to celebrate their academic achievements.

The Lohmans have also made significant contributions to help elevate the football and basketball programs.

When A&M hired a new women’s basketball coach in 2003, Tommie and Carolyn were among the first to meet the charismatic Gary Blair. As Blair and then-men’s basketball coach Billy Gillispie began taking their respective teams to the NCAA Tournament, the Lohmans stepped up to support both programs with a $1.5 million lead gift for new facilities at Reed Arena. The 3,595-square-foot Carolyn and Tommie E. Lohman ’59 Grand Lobby at the Cox-McFerrin Center for Aggie Basketball opened in 2006 and serves as an integral space for hosting recruits and events.

Before Tommie passed away, the Lohmans also discussed a gift to the 12th Man Foundation for the $25 million Campaign for Aggie Football to upgrade football facilities. In 2012, Carolyn honored his memory with a $1 million lead gift for the magnificent entrance to the Bright Football Complex. The 4,000-square-foot Tommie E. Lohman ’59 Center opened in 2013, and is a welcoming gathering space for coaches, student-athletes, recruits and their families.

On Oct. 6, 2017, friends and family joined staff members from the 12th Man Foundation in surprising Carolyn on Kyle Field with the announcement that she and Tommie were the 2017 recipients of the E. King Gill Award.

Watch: E. King Gill Award Surprise

Today, Carolyn carries on the passion she and Tommie shared for athletics and academics.

“Tommie was full of energy who played as hard as he worked,” Carolyn said. “And that was a good challenge for me.”

Still involved with the College of Education and A&M Athletics, Carolyn is a regular at Aggie football as well as men’s and women’s basketball games and enjoys traveling to postseason tournaments. Above all, she wants to see every student-athlete earn their degree as well as shine in their sport.

Indeed, the Lohmans have left a legacy that will benefit students and student-athletes for years to come.

“Tommie and Carolyn have been extraordinary donors, but more than anything, I’m glad to have called Tommie my friend and to still call Carolyn my friend,” said Travis Dabney, 12th Man Foundation President and CEO. “I have a tremendous amount of respect for everything they have done in their professional lives and their philanthropic lives. Texas A&M is lucky to have them.”