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Jim Guidry Commentaries
Fourth of July
Texas A&M Joins SEC
by Texas A&M President R. Bowen Loftin
Monday, September 26, 2011
Howdy from your President!
This is an historic time in Aggieland. Yesterday, the Southeastern Conference (SEC) -- the nation's preeminent collegiate athletic conference -- invited Texas A&M to become its 13th member, effective July 1, 2012. And we have accepted enthusiastically.
By charting our own course, we can ensure that Texas A&M will be part of the athletic conference that will provide us with national visibility, as well as greater financial opportunity and conference stability, starting next summer and for decades to come.
Like Texas A&M, eight of the 12 current SEC member institutions owe their origins to the Morrill Act of 1862, which revolutionized higher education through the creation of land-grant universities. And, like Texas A&M, SEC members have achieved national and international prominence. For example, two universities -- Vanderbilt University and the University of Florida -- are members, with Texas A&M, in the elite Association of American Universities, which has just 61 members in the United States and Canada.
Our counterparts in the SEC are much like Texas A&M in other fundamental ways as well: they celebrate their rich histories and perpetuate their unique traditions, they are passionate on the playing field and in the stands, and they are united in their commitment to instilling core values that will prepare future generations of leaders for our nation and world.
Finally, the SEC provides a national platform for its member institutions. As you know, Texas A&M has made great strides in becoming a national brand that is synonymous with excellence in all of its many forms.
We are ready for the national spotlight.
It's time for Texas A&M. And today, it's time for the Aggie Family -- our record 50,000 current students and some 360,000 former students around the world -- to celebrate. I hope you will join me, Dr. Bernie Machen, chair of the SEC Presidents and Chancellors and president of the University of Florida; SEC Commissioner Mike Slive; and others at 6 p.m. today at The Zone Club for our official event to launch this new era. This event is open to the public. If you cannot attend in person, I encourage you to watch the festivities online at
R. Bowen Loftin '71
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