Texas A&M University at Galveston Commencement
A tribute to military, a testimony of traditions
Galveston, TX -- Commencement at Texas A&M University at Galveston is more than a celebration of academic accomplishment; it's recognition of traditions, connections, and hope for the future. That's what Maritime Administration student Clayton R. Beasley says about preparing to walk across the commencement stage at 9 am, August 13 at the Classroom and Laboratory Building Auditorium at TAMUG. Beasley is among 43 students, who have applied to be recognized as new graduates of Texas A&M University at Galveston. A total of 14 students will be walking across the stage during commencement.
Beasley (22), who is a U.S. Marine, looks forward to graduating with a bachelor's degree in Maritime Administration. Proud of his heritage, he will receive the same Aggie ring and diploma as those graduating from Texas A&M University at College Station.
Beasley says he is grateful to follow family traditions, while making his own mark at TAMUG.
"I always wanted to do something different," he says. Growing up in Wall, Texas, where everyone is a cotton farmer, I thought I'd like to see other parts of the world, and I knew I want to be around water."
Beasley was first accepted as a student at TAMUG before he entered the military to serve in the Headquarters Battery, Second battalion, 14th Marine Regiment as a corporal. But, he is not the first in his family to serve in the military. His paternal grandfather, James Crozier, was a U.S. Army Lieutenant in the Korean War.
Beasley credits discipline and teamwork he learned in the marines with a great part of his success at TAMUG. In recounting his transition from military to university, he speaks about a journey in the night.
"So when I got off the flight (to San Angelo) from training with the marines in San Diego, I decided to drive here (Galveston) at 12 midnight," he says. "I got a little Toyota Celica, made the drive, pulled into the parking lot looking for the dorm. And, that's where my story began.
"When I arrived on campus, there were about 30 veterans, but our numbers were growing fast," Beasley says. "In fall 2009 when the new GI Bill came into effect, a lot of military were returning from war. It was an amazing year.
"I was approached by a fellow marine reservist and asked to lead the first student veteran's group," Beasley says.
Beasley says with the help of the group's first advisors, Marine Biology Professor Dr. Tom Linton and former TAMUG Director of Counseling Dr. Bob Sindylek, they started the the Texas A&M University at Galveston Veterans Association.
"We helped each other as veterans," he says. "We were all going to succeed in life. We take care of each other and other veterans in the community."
While Beasley found his way to fellow veterans, he was not so sure about which major to pursue.
"At first, I didn't know what to expect, or what major would be best for me," he says. "It was an accounting course that helped me, and then an economics course. I found I had a natural gift in those areas so I majored in maritime administration."
Beyond military comrades and academic courses, Beasley prizes his Aggie relationships. He says he made the best friends of his life at TAMUG. And, his Aggieland connections don't end there. His family history reads like an Aggie genealogy.
Beasley's paternal grandmother, Jackie ('87) was a history major and TAMU manager of accounting services. His paternal grandfather, Reginald, was a textbook manager at the TAMU bookstore. His father, Mitchell ('84) majored in Agriculture, while his mother, Lisa ('84) majored in animal science. Beasley's brother, Tyler, ('08) was an entomology major. And, his maternal grandfather, James Allen Crozier ('52) majored in Business Administration.
"I love being an Aggie," says Beasley. "There were no if's, and's, or but's about me becoming an Aggie, but I'm the first to go to Galveston. My family has embraced it. A&M Galveston is a true part of Aggieland. We have some of the same traditions. I think it's sometimes stronger here than College Station, because we're so close knit, but my degree says Texas A&M."
Family, military and friends were not the only close bonds Beasley forged while in Galveston. He met his wife Amber, while working at the TAMUG bookstore, and their story reads like an adventure novel.
"We got married in 2008, and that's a real interesting story," Beasley says. "Our wedding was scheduled for September 20, 2008 in Galveston, but Hurricane Ike changed all of that. We just made our plans on the run. We still got married on that date, but we were married in San Angelo instead. To this day, I don't plan anything."
Although Beasley makes this claim, truly he still plans. He is currently interviewing for positions in business and considering an advanced degree to work in international relations and homeland security.
And, while she is working at TAMUG Admissions and Records, Amber Beasley is also following in her husbands' footsteps. In 2013, she plans to graduate from TAMUG with a bachelor's degree in Maritime Studies.
For more information about other TAMUG graduates, admission to the university, or giving to TAMUG, contact (409) 740-4830.