(MEMO FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE TO AL SARACEVIC: Elite football teams can help on the academic side of things too.)
Call it the Johnny Manziel effect if you must, but the Aggies recent come-up in football has spurred a record $750 million in donations over the last year, beating the unversity's previous high mark by nearly 40%. (For comparison, the University of Texas raised a paultry $400 million in the same time.)
Ann E. Kaplan, director of the Voluntary Support of Education survey, told the Chronicle of Higher Education that since 2001 the most money raised by a public university—cash in hand—was $595-million by the University of Wisconsin at Madison in 2005.
Texas A&M Foundation president Ed Davis says the campus is enjoying more energy thanks in part to the Aggies' return as a college football power. Quarterback Johnny Manziel won the Heisman Trophy last year while leading Texas A&M to its best season in more than a decade.
Davis told the Chronicle of Higher Education three factors had driven the university’s fund-raising success: confidence among alumni and other donors that A&M is a place “on the move,” substantial wealth generation as a result of Texas’ robust energy economy, and a “positive demographic shift” that has created a large pool of donors who are in their prime giving years.
E. Gordon Gee was unable to be reached for comment, but it's assumed upon hearing this news he smirked and said, "Is raising $750 million something worth bragging over?" before sharing a light chuckle with his cloaked, bow-tied associates.