New Director Welcomes Busy Spring Semester, OMLD
New Director Welcomes Busy Spring Semester, OMLD
Howdy, Advocates! 
My name is Miranda Henderson ’09 and I am excited to be the new director of strategic engagement at The Association of Former Students! I have enjoyed jumping into this role and beginning to work with Aggie Advocates and leaders. Prior to joining The Association, I worked as the director of constituent services in the district office of a U.S. Representative for over nine years. 
With the start of new legislative sessions in Washington, D.C., and in Austin, it's been a busy few weeks for Aggies in government. We congratulated Rep. Bill Flores ’76 and Rep. Will Hurd ’99 on their retirements from the U.S. House of Representatives, and welcomed returning Rep. Louie Gohmert ’75 and newly-elected Rep. Ronny Jackson ’91 into the 117th Congress.
This week in Austin, 23 Aggies were sworn into the Texas House and one Aggie was sworn into the Texas Senate. You can find the full list of our Aggies serving in the Texas Legislature here. In addition, Comptroller Glenn Hegar ’93 continues his service to the State of Texas and countless Aggies began working as staff in the 87th Texas Legislative Session. We are proud to have so many former students representing us in our capital city!
This spring is a busy one in Aggieland. Next month, the Texas A&M Advocacy Network will team up with The University of Texas for Orange and Maroon Legislative Day 2021. This opportunity will allow us to advocate for higher education with a greater, more unified voice. Read below for more information on this year's event, or visit
Also in this newsletter, you'll read about Texas A&M's continued leadership in the fight against COVID-19; a federal award headed to Texas A&M at Galveston; a new bus route named after an accomplished state senator; and the inaugural classes in the Washington branch of the Bush School.
Thank you for your willingness to be an advocate for Texas A&M. I look forward to working with all of the advocates and harnessing the power of the Texas A&M Advocacy Network!
In the Aggie Spirit, 
Miranda Henderson ’09

Sign Up to Advocate for Texas A&M at Orange & Maroon Legislative Day 2021!

Orange and Maroon Legislative Day (OMLD), a one-day event held in Austin during the legislative session, brings together former and current students, university officials, and friends of Texas A&M University and The University of Texas at Austin to advocate for our state's higher education system, particularly its two Tier 1 research universities. 
This year's event will be all virtual, meaning that you can be a part of this important event from any location! Representatives from Texas A&M University and The University of Texas will join virtual meetings on Feb. 17 with Aggie and Longhorn members of the Texas House and Texas Senate to advocate for the shared goals and priorities of the two institutions.
We need Aggie Advocates like you to sign up as representatives to help us advocate for Texas A&M. Interested in joining us? Sign up here.

Comptroller Glenn Hegar ’93 Updates Advocates

On Jan. 5, Comptroller Glenn Hegar ’93 joined Aggie Advocates on Zoom to provide a preview of the upcoming 87th Legislative Session and what we can expect on budgetary issues.
With so much of Texas’ revenue based on consumer sales tax, many expected bleak numbers in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated downturn in the economy. While certain industries were hit harder than others, Comptroller Hegar explained that increases in online shopping helped keep Texas’ overall sales tax collections better than initially expected.
In the Q&A section of the update, Comptroller Hegar encouraged participants to be active constituents this session, and to be sure to stay engaged with members and their staffs to voice their thoughts and concerns.
On Jan. 11, Comptroller Hegar’s Biennial Revenue Estimate for 2022-2023 was officially released. This is a constitutionally-mandated statement that presents the state’s financial condition and forms the basis of the state’s budget for the next two-year period. You can find the Biennial Revenue Estimate here.


Texas A&M System Subcontractor Begins Production Of Two COVID-19 Vaccine Candidates

FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies and the Texas A&M University System Center for Innovation in Advanced Development & Manufacturing announced that production has begun in Texas on two different COVID-19 vaccine candidates with support from the U.S. government to meet Operation Warp Speed goals.
“After several months of intense preparation and hard work, we are ready to produce two vaccine candidates locally here in College Station,” said Dr. Gerry Farrell, Chief Operating Officer, FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies, Texas. “We are pleased to bring our technical expertise and world-class facilities to support the mission of Operation Warp Speed in bringing a safe and effective vaccine to the world.”
To learn more about this announcement, click here.

Texas A&M At Galveston Awarded New State-Of-The-Art Vessel By Federal Government

The U.S. Congress has approved $390 million to fund construction of a fourth National Security Multi-Mission Vessel, which will be assigned to the Texas A&M Maritime Academy at Texas A&M University at Galveston.

The state-of-the-art ship will serve as a training platform for future merchant mariners and offer a critical disaster resource in the Gulf Coast. The ship is expected to be delivered to campus in 2025.

“Investment in the Gulf Coast’s only state maritime academy is essential to strengthening Texas’ maritime industry, which provides billions in economic support to the state and ensures rapid response capabilities in the most hurricane-prone region of the United States,” said John Sharp ’72, chancellor of The Texas A&M University System. “We are grateful to the Texas congressional delegation, state elected officials, former students and industry leaders for their support in securing this resource.”

Finish reading the article here.

Campus Bus Route Named for Senator Matthew Gaines

After a successful initiative by Texas A&M student leaders, Route 36 was changed from the "Cotton Bowl Route" to "Matthew Gaines Route." Sen. Gaines was a 19th-century champion of public education who promoted the creation of Texas A&M.
To learn about the Matthew Gaines Society and its work, click here.

The Bush School of Government & Public Service Launches Inaugural Classes in Nation's Capital

Texas A&M University’s Bush School of Government & Public Service is launching its first classes at its new Washington, D.C., teaching site. More than a dozen students have enrolled in classes in the Master of International Policy degree program.
“We are thrilled to welcome this inaugural class,” said Jay Silveria, Executive Director of the Bush School in Washington, D.C. “Despite some modifications to keep the current coronavirus situation at bay, we believe the Bush School’s new Washington, D.C., site will offer students an unparalleled learning experience. Our faculty members not only have stellar reputations as experts in their respective fields but also can provide our students with real-world, hands-on experience in the areas of national security, intelligence, and diplomacy.”
Read more here.
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