With the 2017 Texas legislative session behind us and the special legislative session gearing up, we want to take a moment to say thank you to our Aggie Advocates, former students, and public servants for embodying the Aggie core value of selfless service during this legislative session. 
In this Legislative Recap Edition of our newsletter, we will feature a dedicated Texas legislator as part of our Aggie Spotlight Series, wrap up the issues that impacted Texas A&M this session, congratulate some special Aggies on their recent achievements, and honor the memory of a former student who made the ultimate sacrifice as he was finally laid to rest.
Additionally, I am excited to introduce a new member of The Association of Former Students team and director of strategic engagement, Dave Fujimoto ’17. Dave comes to us after 22 years of service in the United States Air Force and is a recent graduate of the Bush School of Government and Public Service. We are pleased that he and his wife, Erin Fujimoto ’91, have chosen to share their time and talents with us, and I look forward to his service to The Association and Texas A&M Advocacy Network during the coming years.
Thank you again for your loyalty and willingness to reach out and voice your support for Texas A&M University and its students. Your efforts during our recent "Calls to Action" were instrumental in preserving the Permanent University Funds (PUF) for our state's flagship universities. 
Thanks and gig ’em,
Marty Holmes ’87
Vice President
Director fo Strategic Engagement Dave Fujimoto '17 Dave with his wife, Erin '91, and their two sons
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Representative Tracy O'King ’83

Aggie Spotlight - Representative Tracy O. King ’83

Upon his graduation from Carrizo Springs High School, King attended Southwest Texas Junior College, Sul Ross State University, and Texas A&M University, where he earned a bachelor of science degree in agricultural engineering in 1983. During his time at Texas A&M, he participated in the American Society of Agricultural Engineers and was very active in Dunn residence hall, serving as treasurer during his senior year. 
After graduation, King joined the staff at the Beltone Hearing Aid Center in San Antonio and soon moved to Uvalde to open a branch office. He later purchased the Beltone Hearing Aid Center and operated it until 2008, when he sold the business to spend more time with his family. 
A long-active public servant, King had been a member of the board of trustees for the First United Methodist Church and a president of both the Kiwanis Club and the Texas Hearing Aid Association before seeking election to the Texas House of Representatives. King was elected to his first term in November 1994, and is currently serving his eleventh term.
He is the chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture and Livestock and serves on the Natural Resources Committee, the Subcommittee on Special Water Districts, and the Select Committee on Texas Ports, Innovation, and Infrastructure. He also serves as a member of the Edwards Aquifer Legislative Oversight Committee and the Energy Council.
King and his wife, Cheryl, are the proud parents of two children, Katelyn ’19, and Clayton. 

Legislative Highlights

The previous few months were a busy and sometimes contentious time for the Texas Legislature. The Senate Finance and House Appropriation Committees deliberated many items regarding state funding for higher education. Below are some highlights from the proposed House and Senate budgets that could have had a large impact on Texas A&M.
Texas A&M boasts the lowest administrative cost ratio among public higher education institutions in Texas at a mere 3.6% - compared to the state average of 9.8%. In addition, Texas A&M leads the state in the areas that are key to the success of its students - the lowest percentage of students with debt, the fastest time to degree, and, in a competitive job market, its graduates earn 54% more than the national average.
Texas A&M not only has the largest student enrollment in Texas, but it has added over 4,000 students over the last biennium while maintaining the highest student performance in the state (see more here). Simply put, Texas A&M is outperforming the competition for less, and is proud to serve the largest student body in the state by providing an accessible, affordable, and exceptional education.
Formula funding 
Higher education formula funding, which is based on the number of enrolled student hours and weighted by program, directly supports the university's core academic mission—teaching. This is overwhelmingly the largest source of state funding for Texas A&M and the most consistent. Stable, predictable state funding promotes efficiency and better planning for the university, Texas A&M students, and their families. 
In the Senate budget proposal (which called for a redistribution of formula dollars), Texas A&M would have received more than $30 million less to educate its students when compared to current funding levels. This proposed change would have left Texas A&M with one of the lowest rates of per-student funding in the state of Texas. Fortunately, the final budget proposal was changed to reflect that of the House, using the established formula funding methodology. 
The final budget proposal will help to ensure the continued success of Texas A&M students and the university as a whole: Texas A&M will receive a 2.6% increase (compared to the current state formula). 
Despite the many financial challenges faced by our state legislators, Texas A&M received adequate funding and will continue to provide opportunities for current and future Texas A&M students. Aggie Advocates played a key role in ensuring that Texas A&M has the state-provided resources necessary to provide a high-quality education at affordable prices.  
Thanks for your continued support!
Randolph Alles ’86

Congratulations to Randolph Alles ’76 on his selection to lead the Secret Service.

On April 24, the White House announced that Alles, a retired Marine Corps general and acting deputy commissioner of Customs and Border Protection, would be transitioning to serve as the head of the Secret Service.
Alles graduated from Texas A&M in 1976 with a bachelor's degree in accounting. During his time at Texas A&M, he was a member of the Corps of Cadets in outfits H-1 and H-2, and he served on Fifth Battalion Staff, Fish Drill Team, the Corps Color Guard, and Recon Company.
We congratulate Alles on his selection and look forward to hearing of his success in this new leadership role.
Stephen Shuchart ’18

Congratulations to Stephen Shuchart ’18 on his selection to serve as the Student Regent to the Texas A&M University System.

Shuchart is a junior communication major from Houston and currently serves as an associate justice on the Student Government Association Judicial Court.
He served as an intern in the College Station office of Congressman Bill Flores ’76 and has spent the Spring 2017 semester in Austin, interning for state Sen. Robert Nichols.
We congratulate Stephen on his new role representing students from across the Texas A&M System.

Colonel Campbell's Final Flight

Missing for more than 48 years, an Aggie shot down during the Vietnam War is finally laid to rest by his family in this short film from The Association of Former Students.
The remains of USAF pilot Colonel William Campbell ’52 were flown this May to Washington, D.C., and interred with those of his widow at Arlington National Cemetery. The Association is grateful to the Campbell family for trusting us to document their father’s return and share this story with the Aggie Network.
For more of Colonel Campbell’s story, please visit
The Association of Former Students serves current and former students through scholarships, programming, and events. The Association is able to create these opportunities through the generous gifts of former students and friends of Texas A&M who wish to impact Texas A&M through the Century Club. If you are interested in impacting Texas A&M through The Association of Former Students, I encourage you to click the button below to help Pass It Back and Pay It Forward.  
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