Howdy, Advocates!
I hope you and your families are staying safe and healthy as we take steps forward returning to the familar.
Here in Aggieland, we are looking forward to the fall, and the return of students to campus. This month we welcomed 10,796 new former students who received their degrees. Additionally, we shipped over 6,500 Aggie Rings to recipients across the country after social distancing guidelines necessitated the cancellation of our April Ring Day. 
Thank you to the following Aggies for assisting with helping our state reopen:
  • Glenn Hegar '93, Governor's Strike Force 
  • Elaine Mendoza '87, Governor's Strike Force - Special Advisory Council
  • Marc Watts '80, Governor's Strike Force - Special Advisory Council 
  • Graham Weston '86, Governor's Strike Force - Special Advisory Council
  • Todd Staples '84, Governor's Strike Force - Economic Revitalization Working Group Leader (Energy)
  • Brendon Anthony '99, Governor's Strike Force - Economic Revitalization Working Group Leader (Arts, Culture, and Entertainment)
In the Aggie Spirit, 
Jordyn Senkirik ’17

U.S. House of Representatives Passes HEROES Act

Meeting for only the third time since the Coronavirus pandemic swept across the country, on May 15, the United States House of Representatives passed the latest COVID-19 relief package; a $3 trillion dollar package, mostly among party lines. Among the many components of the package, it delivers additional federal aid for state and local governments and additional funding for higher education. The GOP-controlled Senate has already indicated it will not take up the measure, however, this bill is a starting point for future negotiations. Senate Republicans have already acknowledged that there will be a future aid package. Earlier in the day, the House also adopted a historic rules change to allow members to vote and convene committee hearings remotely. The change, while temporary, will allow House lawmakers to cast their votes via proxy for the first time in U.S. history.
The Texas A&M University Office of Government Relations is still reviewing the 1,800+ page bill, however, some key components relating to education include:
  • $27 billion through the State Fiscal Stabilization Fund to financially bolster public institutions of higher education and support students;
  • Extending tax credits to help public institutions pay for federally mandated coronavirus-related paid leave under the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act;
  • Additional funding of $4.7 billion to the National Institutes of Health to support institutions’ research labs where work has been disrupted and costs have increased due to COVID-19; and
  • Additional funding of $125 million to the National Science Foundation to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus.
These additional dollars and tax relief would go a long way to support institutions essential to serving the public good, particularly in times of a national crisis. While there are still areas of concern, the university is appreciative of the federal efforts for relief to date and looks forward to working with lawmakers to ensure America’s leading research universities such as Texas A&M remain strong.
For further information, please visit Texas A&M Government Relations.

Bush School Announces New Teaching Site in Washington, D.C.

General Mark Welsh III, Dean of the Bush School of Government and Public Service, announced on May 4 that plans to open a new teaching site in Washington, D.C. featuring The Bush School of Government and Public Service, a graduate program founded by the nation’s 41st president. The location is expected to open in the fall of 2020, with classes commencing in early 2021, pending required approvals.
To read more about the announcement, please click here.

Texas A&M Researchers To Lead Testing Of Tuberculosis Vaccine To

Fight COVID-19

Texas A&M University researchers are asking hundreds of frontline medical workers to participate in a late-stage, phase 4, clinical trial of a widely used tuberculosis vaccine that could blunt the devastating effects of COVID-19.

Texas A&M is the lead entity in a world-class group of institutions seeking to repurpose the vaccine, BCG, which also is used to treat bladder cancer in the U.S. BCG could be widely available for use against COVID-19 in just six months because it has already been proven safe for other uses.
To learn more, finish reading the article here.

Chancellor John Sharp ’72 Launches TV Show

Chancellor John Sharp ’72 has launched a television program to to showcase Texas A&M System’s scientists, researchers and other leading experts who are helping Texas and the nation respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This special series will air every Thursday at 7 p.m. on KAMU-TV and is being offered to other public television stations around the state. It also will be available on the System’s YouTube channel.

Federal Agency Honors Texas A&M System For Protecting U.S. Secrets, Technology

For the second time in three years, The Texas A&M University System won the Defense Counterintelligence & Security Agency Award for Excellence in Counterintelligence. The award is given for work to protect sensitive information from foreign spies. The System holds the distinction of being the only higher education institution to win the award more than once. 
To learn more about this award, read the full article here.

Brooke Rollins '94 Named As White House Domestic Policy 

As the acting director of the Domestic Policy Council, which oversees the president’s domestic agenda, Ms. Rollins will lead one of the least visible but most crucial bodies during the president’s tenure.

To learn more about Mrs. Rollins and her new role, click here.

Texas A&M Veterinary Lab Testing People For COVID-19

The Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory is helping increase the state’s capacity to test people for COVID-19. “Increased testing is the key to safely opening up the economy,” said John Sharp, chancellor of The Texas A&M University System. “The federal government needs to let us unleash the full potential of our diagnostic veterinary labs.”
Read the full article here.

Greg Hartman Selected To Lead Texas A&M Health Science Center

Greg Hartman has been named Senior Vice President of the Texas A&M University Health Science Center, a role in which he has served as interim since August 2019. The title was effective on April 15. He retains a dual appointment as Vice Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives for the Texas A&M University System.
To learn more about Hartman and his position, click here.

Texas A&M Researchers Examine Whether Stem Cells Could Be Used To Treat COVID-19

While the medical community continues working to find treatments and a vaccine for COVID-19, a Texas A&M University regenerative medicine researcher says results from clinical trials for stem cell therapy indicate that it could be a safe and efficient way to treat the sickest patients.

Mesenchymal stem cells — which can be found in bone marrow, adipose tissue, placentas and umbilical cords —  are known to regulate the immune system in a variety of disease models when isolated from donors and infused intravenously in patients.

A&M Staffers Recognized For Meritorious Service

Twenty-seven individuals and two teams have been named recipients of the 2019-20 President’s Meritorious Service Awards.
These awards, presented by Texas A&M President Michael K. Young and supported by donors to The Association of Former Students, recognize and reward Texas A&M staff members for their meritorious service to the university. The awards are presented in three categories: individuals, supervisors, and teams. 
The Association of Former Students has a bold vision to engage 100,000 donors annually for Texas A&M by the end of 2020. To learn more, visit To help us help more Aggies, make a gift at
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