An Open Letter to Former Aggie Bandsmen, August 2022
If the Fightin’ Texas Aggie Band is the Pulse of Aggieland, then the body in which that pulse resides is the Texas Aggie Corps of Cadets. The Corps at Texas A&M was made optional in the mid-1960s, and it’s our view that the institution as we know it would not have survived without the public relations benefits of the FTAB. Likewise, were it not for the fact that the FTAB is an integral part of the Corps, we doubt that the Band would have survived as the largest precision military-styled collegiate band—the distinct form that we so cherish. As your own pulse is a distinct yet integral part of your human body, the Band is a distinct yet integral part of the Corps. The two are inseparable.
The Texas Aggie Band Association was formed in the 1970s for the primary purpose of supporting the FTAB with private money. It is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, membership-based and led by volunteers. Intensely focused on supporting the Band, the TABA funds Texas A&M Foundation scholarships for bandsmen, sponsors certain Band-unique events, and provides direct financial aid to the Office of the Director of Bands.
The Texas Aggie Corps of Cadets Association was founded on April 21, 1993, its establishment inspired in part by the TABA. Now celebrating 30 years, the CCA has grown to such substantial size and influence that the University officially recognizes it as one of the five pillars of giving, along with the Texas A&M Foundation, the 12th Man Foundation, the Association of Former Students, and the George & Barbara Bush Foundation. Also a 501(c)(3) private not-for-profit organization, the CCA retains a paid professional staff, owns its own operations facility in Bryan, and is the primary source of private money for Corps programs and events. While Corps scholarships managed by the Texas A&M Foundation help individual cadets, the CCA’s support is cross-cutting, sponsoring and managing Corps-wide events and providing direct financial aid to the Office of the Commandant for Corps programs that would otherwise go unfunded.
The CCA and the TABA today, even though two independent legal entities with two separate Boards of Directors, maintain a very close working relationship. In some ways we are seamless, such as in membership database management. In fact, TABA finances, communications, membership outreach, dues collection, and telephone inquiries for both organizations are managed by the CCA staff. It is our view that what helps the Corps helps the Band and vice versa. It is our view that collaboration between us will always be beneficial.
In that spirit, we encourage you to join both organizations. Membership in the TABA will give you the satisfaction of directly supporting the FTAB. Membership in the CCA, in addition to supporting the Corps as a whole, will also provide you with a world-class online database of former cadets, renowned quarterly publications including The Guidon and The Ross Review, routine electronic communications, and the opportunity to participate in the annual Rally to the Guidons.
The Band and the Corps are integral and complementary, as are the TABA and the CCA. We know about donor fatigue, and we know that you always must make hard decisions about personal philanthropy. In our case, we strongly believe that both organizations deserve your support.
Per Unitatem Vis,
Bruce Hamilton’78 (Band Qualified)
President & CEO President
Texas Aggie Corps of Cadets Association
To support the CCA: member.corpsofcadets.org
Rick Ashley ’76 (Band Qualified)
Texas Aggie Band Association
To support the TABA: member.tabaonline.com